Sunday, July 28, 2019

Hang in there, Mama. You're going to miss this.

It's Sunday which means some mama out there got up extra early this morning to get her kids all dressed up for church.  Then, she headed out the door with her family for the "perfect" day of worship . . . until it all went wrong and now she just can't wait to get everyone in bed. She wonders how many years it will be until she can breathe again.  She is a wonderful mom who adores her children, but she's exhausted.

This is for that mama.

They say a picture is worth a thousand words. This one is worth a million. We look like we pretty much had it all together for a family with three kids all aged 5 and under.



It was baby dedication day at our church. The dedication went well, but then there were the pictures. My youngest was the starving baby. It was her day.  She looks pretty content in the photo but she was humming and murmuring all sorts of noises as she frantically lapped her fingers. I prayed she wouldn't start squealing until after we were done with the photo session. The middle one - she was a sweet, delightful child most of the time. Not that day. She woke up with a swollen eye. I still don't know why, maybe a bug bite or maybe it was the start of a cold. It didn't matter.  She was done. She was done with babies. She was done with church. At this age, she hated getting her picture taken. I mean, she HATED it. You see how my husband's hand is spanning her entire stomach area? That was to hold her still. She was not cooperating . . . at all. If you look closely enough, you'll see that her tongue is sticking out. My son just wanted to get the picture session over with so he could go get something to eat. He was trying hard to be patient, but he was over his sisters.  Both of them.  See his gritting teeth?

You see that smile on my face. Fake. Believe me, I was not smiling on the inside. Somebody was going to "get it" and get it good when this was done.

My husband was fairly calm. His only goals were to hold the middle one still and not tell me to calm down . . . because that never works.  Men, don't tell your women to calm down.  It doesn't work.  Trust me.

I thought I would never be able to appreciate the photo because I would always remember the disaster that it was.


This is now one of my favorite family photos. It reminds me of days I wish I could get back. It hangs in my hallway. Every time I see it, I smile at the memory and I know that I would do it all over again, the good and the bad. I think that when we get older, there are always some things in life that we would never want to do over again.  Some things are just too painful, but I would raise my kids all over again.  The wisdom I've gained from already raising them once would require that I change some things, but I would do it all over again, all of it.  I love my adult kids. I'm so proud of all of them.  They are fine young adults.  I thank God for the gift of them every day.  They are all doing great things and they are doing them well.  I love the adult version of all of them, but I also miss the little ones in this photo.

Obviously, I can't do it all over again.  I'll continue to walk by this photo every day and remember the story behind it as I smile.  Sometimes I even laugh.  It was such a joy to raise them.  They bring me joy still, even in the memories of disastrous situations.  I survived and so will you.  You might not believe it now, but someday, you will look back and smile too.  You might even laugh.

Hang in there, Mama.

Children are a gift from the Lord. They are a reward from Him. - Psalm 127:3 

From Adam to Noah

From Adam to Noah

We are still in the very beginning stages of reading through the Bible in chronological order.  Today, I'm reading Genesis, chapters 5-8.

From Adam to Noah

The first verse takes my breath away.  When God made mankind, he made them in the likeness of God (Genesis 5:1).  I read it over and over again, but it never loses its awe.  Of all the things God created during the 7 days of creation, of all the animals and all living things, He made us, you and me, in His own likeness.  What an honor!

He made them male and female and He blessed them.  (Genesis 5:2)

The rest of chapter 5 is a genealogy from Adam to Noah. The sons of Adam and Eve were Cain, Abel, and Seth.  We already know that Cain killed Abel.  (Genesis 4:8)

Cain's line is as follows:


In Genesis 4:23-24, we learn that Lemech confesses to killing a man.  He wrote to his wife that if Cain had been avenged 7 times, then Lemech would be avenged seventy seven times.

From there, we move on to the third son of Adam and Eve.  Adam was 130 years old when Seth was born.  (Genesis 5:3)

Noah is born from the line of Seth as follows:


Here's a chart to help us keep the genealogy straight.
From Adam to Noah Genealogy

Adam died at age 930.  His great great great great grandson, Enoch, lived 365 years.  Enoch walked faithfully with God for 365 years and then God took him away.  Enoch did not know an earthly death.(Genesis 5:23-24)

I think it's a little odd that we grow up hearing the story of Cain and Abel, but rarely heard anything about Seth.  We definitely should pay attention to the story of Cain and Abel because there are lessons to be learned from those two brothers, but little is said about Seth.  However, it was Seth's line of descendants who would be saved from the flood waters to come and repopulate the earth.

The Story of Noah

Noah was 500 years old when he became a father. (Genesis 5:32)  His sons were Shem, Ham, and Japheth.

When the human population began to increase on the earth, the Lord saw how wicked humans had become.  Their thoughts were evil all the time.  (Genesis 6:1-5)

The next verse is so heartbreaking.  The sadness of it reaches to my core.

God regretted that He had ever created humans and His heart was deeply troubled.  (Genesis 6:6)
So the Lord said, "I will wipe from the face of the earth the human race I have created - and with them the animals, the birds, and the creatures that move along the ground - for I regret that I have made them." - Genesis 6:7
There was one hope for humans, Noah.
But Noah found favor in the eyes of the Lord. - Genesis 6:8
Noah was a righteous man, blameless among the people of his day.  He walked faithfully with God.  God told Noah that He was going to wipe the earth of people because of their wickedness and violence.  He told Noah to build an ark and He told Noah exactly how to build it, even the measurements.  (Genesis 6:9-17)

God established a covenant with Noah. 
But I will establish my covenant with you, and you will enter the ark - you and your sons and your wife and your son's wives with you.  You are to bring into the ark two of all living creatures, male and female, to keep them alive with you.  Two of every kind of bird, of every kind of animal and of every kind of creature that moves along the ground will come to you to be kept alive.  You are to take every kind of food that is to be eaten and store it away as food for you and for them. - Genesis 6:18-21
The next verse if very important and we can learn so much from it.
Noah did everything just as God commanded him. - Genesis 6:22
In the first verses of Genesis, chapter 7, God continues His instructions to Noah.

Go into the ark, you and your whole family, because I have found you righteous in this generation.  Take with you seven pairs of every kind of clean animal, a male and its mate, and also seven pairs of every kind of bird, male and female, to keep their various kinds alive throughout the earth.  Seven days from now, I will send rain on the earth for forty days and forty nights, and I will wipe from the face of the earth every living creature I have made. - Genesis 7:1-4

The next verse is again an important one - a repeat of Genesis 6:22.
And Noah did all that the Lord commanded him. - Genesis 7:5
When the flood waters started, Noah was 600 years old.  (Genesis 7:6)

Everyone was inside the ark, so who closed the door?  God did.  The Lord shut them in the ark.  (Genesis 7:16)

Again, God shows his mercy.  After Adam and Eve had sinned, God punished them, but He made them clothes to protect them (Genesis 3:21).  Now, after the human race had become violent and evil, God spared Noah, who was a righteous man, and his family along with a number of animals.  Then, God closed the door of the ark to protect them (Genesis 7:16)

God is a righteous God who punishes disobedience, but He is also a loving God who rewards faithfulness.

God carried out His plan to flood the earth to destroy humans and animals, save only those in the ark with Noah.  Then, God stopped the rain and springs from the earth.  He caused a wind to blow and the waters steadily receded.  Finally, the ark came to rest on Mt. Ararat.  (Genesis 8:1-4)

Months after the rain had started flooding the earth and finally the waters had receded, Noah sent out a raven from the ark.  The raven kept flying back and forth until the waters had dried up from the earth.  Noah sent out a dove to see if waters had receded from the ground, but the dove couldn't find a place to perch because the waters had not receded enough so it returned to Noah.  A week later, Noah sent the dove out again.  This time it returned with an olive leaf.  Seven days later, Noah sent the dove out again, but the dove did not return.  Noah was 601 years old by the time the waters had dried up from the earth.  Noah's family spent a year on the ark.  Finally, Noah and his family, along with the animals, could exit the ark and move onto dry ground.  (Genesis 8:6-19)

What was the first thing Noah did?

He built an alter to the Lord!

He took some of the clean animals and clean birds and sacrificed a burnt offering on the alter.

The Lord smelled the aroma of Noah's offering.  He was pleased so He said in His heart:
"Never again will I curse the ground because of humans, even though every inclination of the human heart is evil from childhood.  And never again will I destroy all living creatures as I have done.

As long as the earth endures,
seedtime and harvest,
cold and heat,
summer and winter,
day and night
will never cease." - Genesis 8:21-22
Reading through these 4 chapters, I marvel at God's justness and His mercy.  Looking back at Genesis 8:21, God knows human hearts are evil from childhood.  Yet, because of Noah's faithfulness and strict obedience to God, God promises to never destroy again as He did in the days of Noah.

God knows my heart as well as he knew the hearts of humans of that day - as well as He knew the heart of Noah.  Yet, He still loves me.

God knows your heart too, yet He loves you.  He desires a relationship with you through His son, Jesus Christ.  You can learn more about that here.

 Teaching the Children

Here are several more resources for learning more about Adam and the story of Noah.

Searching for Adam

Noah: Man of Destiny

A Flood of Evidence 

The Building of the Ark Encounter
A Special Door


Beautifiul Word Coloring Bible

This post is part of my Coloring Through Genesis Series as we read through the Bible in chronological order. I love my Beautiful Word Coloring Bible.  If you would like to add this Bible to your library, this is the one I have.

Coloring Through Genesis

Word Search Puzzle for Kids - The Genealogy from Adam to Noah - Pinterest

Image Credits:
Noah's Ark (Top): jeffjacobs1990 - CCO Public Domain Image via Pixabay
Noah's Ark (Bottom of Printable Image):  thefairypath - CCO Public Domain Image via Pixabay
Noah and Animals (Top of Printable Image):  GDJ - CCO Public Domain Image via Pixabay

Beautiful Word Coloring Bible Image Credit:  Abundant Family Living (Tina Truelove) 

Read all posts in my Coloring Through Genesis Series here

Wednesday, July 24, 2019

The Fall of Man (Adam and Eve, Cain and Abel)

Adam and Eve sin against God.  Cain kills Abel.
The image of Cain and Abel is my own photograph taken at the Creation Museum.

The Fall of Man

Today, I'm reading Genesis, chapters 3 and 4.

As and adult, I am drawn to particular parts of this story that I didn't think much about as a child. In a church ladies' Bible study, I was drawn to Genesis 3:8.
Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the Lord God as He was walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and they hid from the Lord God among the trees of the garden. Genesis 3:8
It was the first part that got our attention. Adam and Eve recognized the sound of God walking in the garden. It occurred to us that this was a common sound to them. They must have been accustomed to walking with God in the garden in the cool of the day . . . walking WITH God here on Earth. What an amazing custom of fellowship with God they must have enjoyed . . . until they disobeyed Him.
Now the serpent was more crafty than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made. And he said to the woman, “Indeed, has God said, ‘You shall not eat from any tree of the garden’?” The woman said to the serpent, “From the fruit of the trees of the garden we may eat; but from the fruit of the tree which is in the middle of the garden, God has said, ‘You shall not eat from it or touch it, or you will die.’” The serpent said to the woman, “You surely will not die! For God knows that in the day you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” When the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was desirable to make one wise, she took from its fruit and ate; and she gave also to her husband with her, and he ate. Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves loin coverings.
They heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God among the trees of the garden. - Genesis 3:1-8 

In my Bible, I underlined a key phrase and a key word in the passage above.  Eve saw that the fruit was pleasing to the eye and it was desirable for gaining wisdom.

We are not so different from Eve.  Oh how those words snare us today just as they snared Eve back in the Garden of Eden.  Not everything that is "pleasing to the eye" is pleasing to God.  Just because something is desirable doesn't mean it is God's plan for our lives. 

Another thing that, for some reason, never caught my attention until more recently is found in Genesis 3:21. I don't know why but I always thought that Adam and Eve made their own garments after they allowed sin to enter into their lives. We learn in Genesis 3:21 that God Himself made garments for Adam and Eve.

The Lord God made garments of skin for Adam and his wife and clothed them. Genesis 3:21 

God loved Adam and Eve. He loved them before their rebellion and He loved them after. Adam and Eve's actions resulted in negative consequences, the fall of man, but God still provided protection for them.

When our kids disappoint us, we must love them like God loved Adam and Eve.

When our kids disappoint us, their actions result in negative consequences perhaps in the form of punishment, but we still provide for them because we love them. God loves us in the same way that we love our children. When we disappoint Him, we suffer negative consequences, but He continues to love us and provide for us.

Cain and Abel

If you grew up in church, you've probably been reading the story of Cain and Abel since you were a child.  Cain and Abel were brothers, sons of Adam and Eve.  Abel kept flocks.  Cain worked the soil.  Cain and Abel both brought an offering before the Lord.  Abel offered the firstborn of his flock and God was pleased.  Cain brought an offering, but God was not pleased with Cain's offering.   Cain became angry because God found favor in Abel's offering, but not his own so Cain killed his brother, Abel.

I remember the story as a simple one from childhood but this story is far more complicated.  Jealousy is not a simple matter.  Jealousy breeds resentment. It causes us to lose control of our emotions.  Left unchecked, it can cause us to lose control of our actions too.  Jealousy changes people.  Jealousy resulted in murder in the case of Cain and Abel.  Jealousy can result in the same today as it did then.  

What does the Bible say about jealousy?
Put me like a seal over your heart,
Like a seal on your arm.
For love is as strong as death,
Jealousy is as severe as Sheol;
Its flashes are flashes of fire,
The very flame of the Lord. - Solomon 8:6

But if you have bitter jealousy and selfish ambition in your heart, do not be arrogant and so lie against the truth. This wisdom is not that which comes down from above, but is earthly, natural, demonic. - James 3:14-15

Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant. - 1 Corinthians 13:4
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For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there is disorder and every evil thing. - James 3:16

Pay close attention to this next verse.  Paul did not sugarcoat the consequences of a jealous heart in his letter to the Galatians.  He places jealousy in the same category as immorality, sorcery, drunkenness, and others.  Read the last part of this verse carefully.  Paul warns that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.  
Now the deeds of the flesh are evident, which are: immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, disputes, dissensions, factions, envying, drunkenness, carousing, and things like these, of which I forewarn you, just as I have forewarned you, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. - Galatians 5:19-21

This doesn't mean that you will lose your salvation or go to Hell if you felt jealous over a situation yesterday.  Remember that we all guilty of sin (Romans 3:23).  The danger is when our lifestyle indicates that we are living a life without conviction and repentance.  We know believers by the fruit they bear.  
You will know them by their fruits. Grapes are not gathered from thorn bushes nor figs from thistles, are they? 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 7:16-20

Cain suffered severe consequences for his sins.  God told Cain that the ground would no longer yield crops for him.  He would become a wanderer on the Earth.  

Even as God revealed His punishment for Cain, He showed compassion for Cain.  Cain was afraid that whoever found him would kill him, but God told Cain that anyone who killed him would suffer vengeance 7 times over.  Then, God placed a mark on Cain to protect him.  Then, Cain left God's presence and wen to the land of Nod which was East of Eden.

If jealousy is something that you are dealing with right now, I urge you to hand the situation over to the Lord.  Let Him have it all.  

If you are not a believer, then I urge you to go back and read Galatians 5:19-21 again.  Then, know God loves you and wants you to know Him.  Learn more about how to receive Jesus and know God personally here.

This post is part of my Coloring Through Genesis Series.  I'm using my new Beautiful Word Coloring Bible.  I love it because it leaves plenty of space for notes and I enjoy coloring the pages.  I look forward to using this Bible as I continue through the book of Genesis.


Read all posts in the Coloring Through Genesis Series here.

Sunday, July 21, 2019

Freedom to Restore (from the Study on Galatians Series)

We are now into the second half of July.  During the summer months, our associate pastors at my church rotate as they preach on Sunday mornings.  Today, our student pastor continues through our study on Galatians with his sermon titled, "Freedom to Restore."  Our focal passage is Galatians 5:26-6:5.
Let us not become boastful, challenging one another, envying one another. Brethren, even if anyone is caught in any trespass, you who are spiritual, restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness; each one looking to yourself, so that you too will not be tempted. Bear one another’s burdens, and thereby fulfill the law of Christ. For if anyone thinks he is something when he is nothing, he deceives himself. But each one must examine his own work, and then he will have reason for boasting in regard to himself alone, and not in regard to another. For each one will bear his own load. - Galatians 5:26-6:5
The following are my Bible Study notes based on my pastor's sermon.  You are invited to watch, listen, and worship with us here.

We as Christians are supposed to fight spiritually for one another.  We are to stand in the gap for each other.

Freedom to Restore

Most people fall into one of two groups.  Some people fall in both groups.

1.  You know someone who has fallen away from the Lord.  This means that someone has given his or her life to the Lord but he or she is not living like it.  

2.  You are the one who has fallen away.  

Whoever has fallen away, whether it be you or someone else (or both of you), needs to be restored.  

Freedom makes restoration possible.

Freedom to Restore

We are to bear one another's burdens. (Galatians 6:2) 

No one is too good to help someone who has fallen.  It is our responsibility to help restore others if we are walking with the Lord.

We must be careful not to make their burdens heavier by focusing on petty things.  Keep your focus on their walk with the Lord.  Legalism lives for condemnation.

We need to walk beside others and lighten their load.

But Jesus went to the Mount of Olives. Early in the morning He came again into the temple, and all the people were coming to Him; and He sat down and began to teach them. The scribes and the Pharisees brought a woman caught in adultery, and having set her in the center of the court, they said to Him, “Teacher, this woman has been caught in adultery, in the very act. Now in the Law Moses commanded us to stone such women; what then do You say?” They were saying this, testing Him, so that they might have grounds for accusing Him. But Jesus stooped down and with His finger wrote on the ground. But when they persisted in asking Him, He straightened up, and said to them, “He who is without sin among you, let him be the first to throw a stone at her.” Again He stooped down and wrote on the ground. When they heard it, they began to go out one by one, beginning with the older ones, and He was left alone, and the woman, where she was, in the center of the court.  Straightening up, Jesus said to her, “Woman, where are they? Did no one condemn you?” She said, “No one, Lord.” And Jesus said, “I do not condemn you, either. Go. From now on sin no more.” - John 8:1-11
It is important to remember that you are never too far away to come back to the Lord.  If you think you haven too far away or that you are too bad of a person, it's not true.  That is a lie that Satan tells us.  Don't believe his lie.

We need to examine our own lives.  If I am walking in the flesh, it will be difficult, if not impossible, to restore someone else who is walking in the flesh. (Galatians 6:1)

Freedom requires us to be responsible.  We are responsible for our own walk with Christ.  When the bible tells us in Galatians 6:2 that we are too bear one another's burdens, the word "burden" in the original language of this text refers to a load so heavy that it cannot be carried alone.  The word "burden" in verse 5 of the original text refers to a burden which can be carried alone such as "purity, integrity, and character.

So then each one of us will give an account of himself to God. - Romans 14:12


Read all posts in the Galatians Bible study series here.

Saturday, July 20, 2019

The Life of Freedom (Study on Galatians Series)

At my church, we are moving right along as we navigate through our summer Bible study series on the book of Galatians.  The theme for this study is freedom, the freedom we have in Christ.  Our focal Bible verse is Galatians 5:1.  The title of my pastor's sermon this week is "The Life of Freedom."
The Life of Freedom
It is for freedom that Christ set us free; therefore keep standing firm and do not be subject again to a yolk of slavery. - Galatians 5:1
You are invited to watch, listen, and worship with us here.

Free - The Life Of Freedom, High School Pastor Ben Garrison - July 7, 2019 (Message) from Christ Place Church on Vimeo.

The Life of Freedom

The source of our freedom is Jesus.

No other source will make us truly free.  No matter what stage of life we are in, this life stage, nor the next, will set us free.  Only Jesus can give us freedom. Any earthly source in which we seek freedom will only keep us in bondage.

The biggest need we have is spiritual freedom.  Even religious acts cannot give us freedom.  Only a relationship with Jesus can give us freedom.  We cannot earn freedom.

See the work of Jesus.

God began the work of redemption in Genesis 3.  There was a gap between us and God that we could never get back on our own.
The light sines in the darkness and the darkness cannot comprehend it. - John 1:5
Therefore when Jesus had received the sour wine, He said, "It is finished!"  And He bowed His head and gave up His Spirit. - John 19:30
What was finished?  The work of redemption through Jesus was finished.

When we rely on legalistic works, salvation becomes all about ourselves rather than focusing on Jesus.  If the sacrifice of Jesus wasn't enough, then how can you achieve it?  You can't.
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Step into your freedom.

Jesus Christ has set you free.  Show the world your freedom.  You don't have to rely on good works to join God in His movement.  God gives us grace to work in the mission He has given us.  We just need to obey God in repentance.

Stand firm in your freedom.

Plant your feet firmly in your faith.  Don't let the enemy place a lie in you.  Don't fall into the bondage of deceit and allow the enemy to twist the Word of God.

This part about the freedom we receive in Jesus is extremely important so read it carefully.

Don't use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh!  Our freedom is not a license to sin.
For you were called to freedom, brethren; only do not turn your freedom into an opportunity for the flesh, but through love, serve one another. - Galatians 5:13


Image Credit:  Warren Wong - Public Domain Image via Freely Photos

Read all posts in the Galatians Bible study series here.

Sunday, July 14, 2019

How is Your Walk (From the Study on Galatians Series)

This summer, we are doing a summer series on the book of Galatians.  This week, our pastor preached on the topic question, "How is Your Walk?"  The following are my Bible study notes based on my pastor's sermon.

The Bible passage for this week is Galatians 5:16-26.
But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh. For the flesh sets its desire against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; for these are in opposition to one another, so that you may not do the things that you please. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the Law.  Now the deeds of the flesh are evident, which are: immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, disputes, dissensions, factions, envying, drunkenness, carousing, and things like these, of which I forewarn you, just as I have forewarned you, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.  Now those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. 
If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit. Let us not become boastful, challenging one another, envying one another. - Galatians 5:16-26

You are invited to watch, listen, and worship with us here.

Free - How's Your Walk? Nex Gen Pastor Josh Allen - July 14, 2019 (Message) from Christ Place Church on Vimeo.

How is Your Walk?

Are you being led by the flesh?  If we are being led by the flesh:

We will produce sinful attitudes and actions.  Freedom in Christ is not a license to sin.  Our works do not change the status of our walk, but they do reveal our status.

Are you being led by the Spirit?  When we are being led by the Spirit:

We will go where the Spirit guides us.  
He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose. - Jim Elliot.
We will do what the Spirit leads us to do.

We need to be aware of false prophets and those who profess to be Christ followers but bear no spiritual fruit.
“Beware of the false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly are ravenous wolves.  You will know them by their fruits. Grapes are not gathered from thorn bushes nor figs from thistles, are they?  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.

“Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter.  Many will say to Me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?’  And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness.’ - Matthew 7:15-23
 We will know true believers by the fruit they bear.


Read all posts in the Galatians Bible study series here.

Wednesday, July 10, 2019

When Your Adult Child is Called to Do a Dangerous Job

This week, many of us are asking ourselves, "What do we do when our adult child is called to do a dangerous job?"  It has been a hard week for my little hometown community.  One of our county deputies lost his life in the line of duty Sunday night.  He was a young husband and father of 2 boys.  The youngest was only a few months old.  My son is also a deputy in our county.  He had served with this fallen hero before his deployment.  When I first heard the news, my heart sank.  The shift that responded to the call regarding the stolen vehicle was my son's shift.  If my son had been here, the fallen deputy could have been him.

When Your Adult Child is Called to Do a Dangerous Job

My heart is broken for the fallen deputy's family.  His parents, his wife, and his children are devastated.  His friends and co-workers are deeply hurting.  I didn't personally know this young deputy but since my son is also a deputy who served with him and knew him, my heart hurts with my community.  Situations like this are common down the road in Atlanta, but very rare up here in the much quieter countryside.  Our deputies frequent neighborhoods and local businesses, checking on those of us who live and work here.  They are known by those whom they serve.  When tragedy strikes, we all hurt.  For those of us who have loved ones in dangerous jobs, these situations cause ugly fears to surface, fears we had battled and put away . . . until something like this happens.  Now the fear of losing our own loved ones is raw and heavy on our hearts and minds again.  We must learn to lay down the fear and possibilities that haunt us at the feet of Jesus once again.  How do we honor God's calling on the lives of our children when our adult children are called to do dangerous jobs?

When Your Adult Child is Called to Do a Dangerous Job

Often someone will ask me, "How do you do it? How do you sleep at night? How do you get up every day knowing that you could be the mother of a fallen deputy or Soldier before the day's end?

My Answer: I don't.

I don't do it on my own strength, but by the One who gives me strength. I absolutely cannot honor God's calling on the lives of my children or His calling on me to mother them without the knowledge of the truth that Jesus has them and He has me.

When Your Adult Child is Called to Do a Dangerous Job

When my adult child was called to do a dangerous job, I had to learn to give him over to the Lord.  Oh, I still worry about him.  I would be lying if I didn't admit it.  He's still my baby boy.  He'll always be my baby boy, but he is also a man, a man called by God to serve in a dangerous job.  I didn't want him to go into police work or the Army National Guard.  I wanted him to work in a nice safe office somewhere.  I wanted him to work in a safe place so that I could sleep soundly at night and not worry about his safety.  God had a different plan for him.

My son chose to go into police work AND the Army National Guard.  I had two choices.  I could beg and cry and beg some more for my son to change his mind or I could accept his decisions as an adult and support him.

I can't remember where I read it.  I've tried to find the source but have not been successful.  Somewhere in a book or perhaps a Bible study book, I read wise words.
Don't hold onto your children so tightly that God can't use them. - Unknown
I read those words and immediately felt convicted.  Was I holding on too tight?  Was I holding onto my children so tightly that God couldn't use them?

I believed I was.

Of course I know I'm not powerful enough to stop God's plan for my children, but the idea is that He wants us to trust Him with our children.  They are His before they are ours, after all.

My husband and I had raised our children in a home where God was honored, the Bible was read, and skipping church was never an option.  They had all been rooted and grounded in a foundation of faith that we hoped would grow them closer to the Lord as they grew up and grew older on this earth.  Now, God was guiding them into the adult purposes for which He had created them.

Who was I to stand in the way?  I had to let go.

The Purpose Driven Life
This item is available here.

This most recent incident with our fallen deputy has naturally caused me to want to grip onto my children again and hold on for dear life.  I spoke with my son about the death of his friend.  My heart grieved with him from the other side of the world.  I don't know what God has planned for my son's future, but whatever it is, as long as he walks with the Lord, I'll support him.

I thought about what the future might hold for our family.  Only God knows.  I thought about my two daughters who have chosen careers in psychology.  One of them will specialize in clinical mental illness.  The other one will be a Christian family counselor.  Those sound like fairly safe jobs, right?

But none of us are guaranteed another day.  My son could be injured or killed doing either of his two jobs.  My daughters could just as easily go home to Heaven on their way to work tomorrow morning.  It's a terrible thought, but a true statement.  All three of my children could wake up tomorrow without their mother.  We don't know what the next hour holds, let alone another day or another year.

What I do know for certain is that God knows. What I do know is that He knows my children.  He knew them before they were born.  They were fearfully and wonderfully made.  Their frames were not hidden from Him when they were made in secret.  They were skillfully wrought.  They were seen by God before they were fully formed and all the days that were ordained for them were written in His book.
For You formed my inward parts;
You wove me in my mother’s womb.
I will give thanks to You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
Wonderful are Your works,
And my soul knows it very well.
My frame was not hidden from You,
When I was made in secret,
And skillfully wrought in the depths of the earth;
Your eyes have seen my unformed substance;
And in Your book were all written
The days that were ordained for me,
When as yet there was not one of them. - Psalm 139:13-16
Did you read that?  Go back and read every word again knowing it was written for my children and for yours.

When your adult child is called to do a dangerous job, you are also called.  You were chosen to be your child's mother or father.  You were called to parent your child when he or she was born.  You were called to parent your child when he or she was a child, a teenager, and a young adult.  Now you are called to be the mother or father of an adult child who is called to do a dangerous job.

Whether your adult child is called to join the military, the police force, or is sent to a hostile foreign mission field, you are still called to be his or her mother or father. Whether your adult child is called to teach, become an electrician, a builder, a lawyer, or a doctor, you are still called to be his or her mother or father. 

Now that you have accepted your calling as the parent of an adult child, what's next?  

Pray.  Pray a lot.

Spend time in God's Word.  The more intimately you know God, the more likely you are to respond positively to the news that your child has chosen a dangerous job. 


If you don't have your Bible with you when you are on the go, download the Bible Gateway App.  Take the Bible with you whereever you go.

Pray scripture based prayers for your adult child.

50 Prayers to Pray for Your Adult Child

1.  Pray for God to give your adult child a spirit of wisdom and revelation in knowing Him.
2.  Pray that the eyes of his or her heart will be enlightened.
3.  Pray that he or she will know what is the hope of His calling on his or her life,  (4) the riches of the glory of His inheritance, (5) the surpassing greatness of His power toward those who believe in Him according to the working of the strength of His might.
That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you a spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of Him. I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened, so that you will know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, and what is the surpassing greatness of His power toward us who believe. These are in accordance with the working of the strength of His might which He brought about in Christ, when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places. - Ephesians 1:17-20
6.  Pray for your adult child to watch over his or her heart.
Watch over your heart with all diligence,
For from it flow the springs of life. - Proverbs 4:23
7.  Pray for your son or daughter to always remember that no matter how far they might fall, they can't fall so far away that God can't reach them or hear them.
Behold, the Lord’s hand is not so short
That it cannot save;
Nor is His ear so dull
That it cannot hear. - Isaiah 59:1
Pray Romans 12, the whole chapter over your son or daughter, that he or she will:

8.  present his or her body as a living and holy sacrifice.
9.  not be conformed to the world, but be transformed by the renewing of his or her mind.
10.  prove what the will of God is, that which is good, acceptable, and perfect.
11.  not think more highly of himself or herself than he or she ought to think.
12.  think so as to have sound judgement.
13.  exercise his or her gifts according to God's purposes in his or her life.
14.  love without hypocrisy.
15.  abhor what is evil.
16.  cling to what is good.
17.  be devoted to those around them in brotherly love.
18.  honor others.
19.  be diligent.
20.  be fervent in spirit.
21.  serve the Lord.
22.  rejoice in hope.
23.  persevere in tribulation.
24.  devoted to prayer.
25.  contribute to the needs of others.
26.  practice hospitality.
27.  bless those who persecute him or her.
28.  rejoice with those who rejoice.
29.  weep with those who weep.
30.  not be haughty.
31.  not pay back evil for evil.
32.  respect what is right.
33.  be at peace with others.
34.  not take his or her own revenge.
35.  learn to feed his or her hungry enemies.
36.  give drink to the thirsty.
37.  not be overcome with evil.
38.  overcome evil with good.
Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.
For through the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think more highly of himself than he ought to think; but to think so as to have sound judgment, as God has allotted to each a measure of faith. For just as we have many members in one body and all the members do not have the same function, so we, who are many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another. Since we have gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, each of us is to exercise them accordingly: if prophecy, according to the proportion of his faith; if service, in his serving; or he who teaches, in his teaching; or he who exhorts, in his exhortation; he who gives, with liberality; he who leads, with diligence; he who shows mercy, with cheerfulness.

Let love be without hypocrisy. Abhor what is evil; cling to what is good. Be devoted to one another in brotherly love; give preference to one another in honor; not lagging behind in diligence, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord; rejoicing in hope, persevering in tribulation, devoted to prayer, contributing to the needs of the saints, practicing hospitality.

Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep. Be of the same mind toward one another; do not be haughty in mind, but associate with the lowly. Do not be wise in your own estimation. Never pay back evil for evil to anyone. Respect what is right in the sight of all men. If possible, so far as it depends on you, be at peace with all men. Never take your own revenge, beloved, but leave room for the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,” says the Lord. But if your enemy is hungry, feed him, and if he is thirsty, give him a drink; for in so doing you will heap burning coals on his head.” Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good. - Romans 12
39.  Pray for your son or daughter to have peace in Jesus, knowing that He has overcome the world.
These things I have spoken to you, so that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world. - John 16:33
40.   Pray for your adult child to be sincere and blameless, living a life of integrity.
So that you may approve the things that are excellent, in order to be sincere and blameless until the day of Christ. - Philippians 1:10
41.  Pray for the fruits of the Spirit to be evident in your son or daughter's life. 
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. - Galatians 5:22-23
Pray that your son or daughter will:

42.  draw near to God with a sincere heart, full of assurance of faith.
43.  have a clean heart, free from an evil conscience.
44.  have a clean body washed with water. (Yes!  This is in the Bible!)
45.  hold fast to the confession of his or her hope.
46.  will not waver.
47.  remember that God is faithful.
48.  stimulate others to love and good deeds.
49.  not forsake the assembling together. (In other words, pray that he or she will always go to church.)
50.  encourage others. 
Let us draw near with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful; and let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds, not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another; and all the more as you see the day drawing near. - Hebrews 10:22-25
When Your Adult Child is Called to Do a Dangerous Job

What prayers do you pray for your adult children?  What scriptures and prayers do you recommend adding to this list?  Let us know in the comments below.

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