Mr. Christmas

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Because of Sons

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You CANNOT Abstain from Voting!

2016-01-09 10.38.25

Voting is a privilege.  It is a hallmark of American society.  We do not have a monarchy nor a dictatorship. Americans elect our national leaders. Our system gives a voice and vote. The greatest opportunity for your individual voice to be heard is in the Primary election. You can cast a principled vote for the candidate that best represents your convictions.

The primary race is the closest to home. As Speaker of the House, Thomas P. “Tip” O’Neill once said, “All politics is local.”  The hard fought, visceral contests must be fought at the local level.  Give money.  Distribute signage.  Make phone calls.  Work to register voters who have not.  Write Op Ed pieces for your local paper.  Get involved personally and monetarily.  Remember that your spoken opinion is one in three hundred million.  In other words, quit talking and start working.  However, once the primary is over, there is a tendency among many to decide that “my guy” didn’t win, so “I’m not going to vote in the Presidential election.”

Abstaining from an opportunity to vote is no strategy at all. By not voting you ARE voting; “in absentia”, for whomever wins. By choosing to have no voice, you speak in favor of the winner by refusing to speak against them.

That which may feel like a principled stand, is exactly the tack that the Members of Congress take when they don’t like having to vote for a bill that is unpopular. Instead of exercising their duty to render a “yea or nay” vote, they abstain and blame the outcome on those who disagree with them. Then they hide behind strong rhetoric designed to keep up appearances with the folks back home.

When the Presidential nominees are finalized, there will be some tough questions to seriously consider. Whether to vote or abstain should not be one of them.

With or without your support, there will be a winner, however your abstinence will count as a vote of support for the one you would support the least.

I despise having to choose “the lesser of two evils” but that is likely what we will have to do.

Mr. Christmas








Mr. Christmas

With a chuckle in his tummy
And a smile upon his face,
He pulled them to his knee
‘Sat them gently into place.

He spoke to them of happiness
And joys too much to tell.
He laughed at wide-eyed innocence,
And voices clear as bells.

He spoke to them of coming
On a very special day,
And answered whispered questions like,
“You’re sure you know the way?”

That He loves little children,
For all it’s plain to see.
It is written in His Word,
“Let them come to Me.”

Maston E. Jackson
1992  © All Rights Reserved

Train Up Your Child

Kids on the floor

“Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it.”     Proverbs 22:6

The question that plagues most parents is this:  How do I accomplish this?

I.  Expose Them to the Word of God

“And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart.  You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up.  You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes.  You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.”    Deuteronomy 6:6-9

Be Their Teacher

    1. Live it before them.
    2. Teach it to them.
    3. Talk about it.
    4. Honor it.

II.  Exhort Them As They Follow God

“And you, fathers, do not provoke your children to wrath, but bring them up in the training and admonition of the Lord.”                    Ephesians 6:4

Be their guide.  (Guide them to walk with God)

      1. Early on, your interests will become their interests.
      2. They will tend to gravitate toward what you approve.
      3. Explore their weaknesses and their victories with them.
          • What went right?
          • What went wrong?
          • How can I adjust?

Be their coach.

      1. Encourage them as they hit rough spots.
      2. Cheer them on!
      3. Celebrate their wins!

III.  Express the Father’s Love for Them

Learn what makes them feel loved.    “The 5 Love Languages”  Dr. Gary Chapman

      1. Words of Affirmation
      2. Acts of Service
      3. Receiving Gifts
      4. Quality Time
      5. Physical Touch

Your love relationship with them will color their view of God.

Your words, actions, and attitude can inspire confidence or doubt in God.

Love their soul.

      1. You have influence over an eternal soul that is not your own.
      2. Make sure that you represent God well.
      3. Instruct them truthfully and completely.
      4. Teach them the personal discipline necessary to finish this life well.

Avoid provocation.  It is a spirit breaker.

“Fathers, do not provoke your children, lest they become discouraged.”    Colossians  3:21

“7 Ways Fathers Provoke Their Children”    Mark Driscoll

      1. Make More Withdrawals Than Deposits
      2. Resort to Physical or Verbal Abuse
      3. Be Emotionally Absent
      4. Publicly Humiliate and Criticize
      5. Be No Fun
      6. Don’t Be Generous
      7. Never Say “I’m Sorry”

Are you intentionally training your child to walk with God or discouraging them with your own selfish attitude?

We Must Pull Together!

Mule Teams

Mule Teams

“Bear one another’s burdens and so fulfill the law of Christ.”    Galatians 6:2

I. “Bear . . .”

A. “to take up in the hands, to place upon in order to carry, to pull”

B. It is intentional.

C. It costs something of you.

II. “one another’s . . .”

A. All men bear something.  All men bear sin.

B. God himself modeled this principle in His own Son.

Jesus bore our fragile human state.
Jesus bore our curse of working to eat.
Jesus bore the curse of our shame.
Jesus personally bore my sin.

C. It is God’s Divine plan that Believer’s lean upon one another.

Martin Luther said that Christians need “broad shoulders and husky bones.”

D. None of us are exempt from the need for a burden bearer.

E. The Love of Christ is the basis of burden bearing.

III. “burdens . . .”

A. Life brings load.

Simple chores
School assignments
Dealing with your own feelings
Living and making a living
Nurturing a family
Lost Dreams
Concern for those you love
Spiritual Warfare
Health issues

B. We all bear burdens.

C. Jesus has promised rest from our burdens.
“Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” Matt. 11:28

D. It is God’s design for the Family of God that we bear and share our burdens.

IV. “and so fulfill the law of Christ.”

A. Nowhere else in scripture does Paul use this exact phrase. “law of Christ”

B. So what is the law of Christ?
“This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends.”   John 15:12-13

C. The mutual bearing of burdens is a hallmark of the Family of God.

To exclude one’s self from that is self-deceit. (see verse 3)

Are you trying to bear your burdens alone?
Will you allow the Family of God to come along side you as you come alongside others?

Three Things You Can Do in Faith

“By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to go out to the place which he would receive as an inheritance. And he went out, not knowing where he was going.  By faith he dwelt in the land of promise as in a foreign country, dwelling in tents with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise; for he waited for the city which has foundations, whose builder and maker is God.”       Hebrews 11:8-10  NKJV

You Can Obey Without Knowing All of the Details

  • It requires faith.

Many claim to have faith, but few live according to their claim.
“Faith is merely trust with its tennis shoes on.”   Maston Jackson

  • It requires surrender.

Surrender is not in our nature unless we are overwhelmed by superior force.
Even in the face of superior force, some refuse to surrender.  Pride seals their defeat.

  • It requires three-fold action.

1.  Admit that God is right.

2.  Embrace the adventure.

3. Move at and in God’s direction

“Why should God grant one more thing to men and women who know but refuse to obey His instructions?”

You Can Sit Tight Anywhere God Puts You

  • Abraham was not at home.

Home was Ur of the Chaldees; modern day Iraq.

  • He was viewed as a foreigner.

He moved to a new neighborhood where he knew no one.

  • He led his children and grandchildren to sit tight as well.

Only danger from family violence (Jacob, who fled to Haran but later returned) and famine caused Abraham’s extended family to leave the land for an extended period of time.

 You Can Wait As Long As It Takes

  • You may never see the results.

Walking in faith is the best use of life regardless of the other goals you may have.

Beware of embracing faith with personal gain in mind.
Avoid the “What’s in it for me?” trap.

  • Your children may never see the results.

Your faithfulness can become a beacon in their own journey of faith.

  • God will not only see the results but guide it and finish it.