Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for the ‘grandparents’ Category

When you raise your children in Don Pedro and you encourage them to play outside the responsible thing to do is to teach them about snakes, in particular rattle snakes. But since you don’t want your kids to get close enough to a rattle snake to make a definite identification you tell them to stay away from all snakes dead or alive. “No playing with snakes, ever! Got it?” “No poking snakes with a stick, no touching snakes! Got it?!” “What do you do when you see a snake, or hear a rattling sound?”

“I turn around, run into the house, and tell Daddy or Mommy or the Babysitter.”

“Good answer, that is exactly what you do.”

“Do you ever touch or play with snake?”

“No, silly Daddy, you run and tell.”

“Why?”

“Because snakes bite and can hurt you very bad.”

“What else you don’t do when you play outside?”

“I don’t stick my hands where I can’t see and I look where I walk?”

“Why?”

“So snakes won’t bite me.”

“Do you play by the wood pile or in the rocks?”

“No Daddy.”

“Why?”

“Cause snakes like it there.”

 

You have to teach your kids about all kinds of things, like fire, respect, boys/girls, honesty, glue and glitter, honor, being color-blind, brushing their teeth, responsibility, selflessness, generosity, doing chores right, excellence, not quitting, using tools, changing tires, controlling their temper, working hard, cleaning up after your puppy, being a giver not a taker, contributing, being home on time, … But the most important thing we teach our children is what we teach them about God and the things of God. It will affect their entire life, their destiny, and their soul, “Bring them (your children) up in the discipline (training) and instruction of the Lord” Ephesians 6:4 (ESV).

In trying to be faithful to that command of God, Susie and I, found the Word of God (the Bible), prayer, and the community of God (church) indispensable.

“What is the most important thing you will ever do?”

“Love God and my neighbor, Dad.”

“You are so right! So very smart! And that is why you are my favorite (all the others are just ugly ducklings, runts, and trolls)!”

 

To God be all glory. Love you, Pastor Hans

Advertisements

Read Full Post »

Now to him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you blameless before the presence of his glory with great joy, to the only God, our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion, and authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen. Jude 1:24-25 (ESV)

 I hate to admit it, but I am not as sure footed as I was when I was 25. I was reminded of that last time I went trout fishing on the South Fork of the Tuolumne river. I used to be able to rock hop and leap all over. Now I am much more prone to stumble and fall. In fact, I hit the deck twice a few weeks ago just navigating around my yard. I blame it on my current back struggles and how they affect my left leg.

I watch my grandson trying to gain stability on his young legs. He too, spills regularly, but he doesn’t fall as far and his bones are softer than mine. Yet, if he fails to gain stability on his legs his life will be much tougher, much more bruised, and much more limited.

Of course we don’t just stumble with our legs. Ever stumbled with your mouth? Didn’t find the right words? Made a mess with the words you did manage? Wish you could somehow take them words back?

We stumble with our emotions. For many, their temper and anger (how they express and manage it) trip them up time after time. They continually make them stumble. For others it is depression, or anxiety, or paralyzing fear.

For some it is money, the making of it, the managing (actually mismanaging) of it, the spending of it, the love of it, that time after time causes them to stumble, to upset their lives, to add enormous stress and worry.

James is right when he writes, we all stumble in many ways” James 3:2 (ESV). People have stumbled over their ambitions, jealousy, because of their friends, relatives, how people have treated them, injustice, and ….

Jude’s main concern in his short letter next to the last book of the Bible is far too many people stumbling spiritually. I can attest to that after pastoring for 32 years. Heck, all I have to do is look in the mirror and get a glimpse of a stumbler.

Stumbling is a special concern to me as a Dad and now Granddad. I want to model and contribute to the stability of my children and grandchildren, and that is tough to do if I stumble too much, especially spiritually. There is absolutely no one better at helping me/us when it comes to stumbling, gaining balance, acquiring stability in life with all of its challenges and twist and turns, than God and his Son Jesus Christ. There is no resource better than the Bible (God’s written revelation) when it comes to building the strength of mind, heart, faith, and habits needed to avoid stumbling. There are few foundational habits as important as gathering weekly with other stumblers to encourage each other and worship the one who daily offers his almighty hand to keep us from stumbling.

To God be all glory. Love you, Pastor Hans

 

 

 

Read Full Post »

Susie and I were awarded the rank of “Grandparent” last Tuesday. Shaheed Jr. greeted the light of day at 8 pounds 1 ounce, and 20 inches in length. Dad already claims he looks like him, and by the way Mom is okay. There is just one problem – Susie and I are way too young to be a Grandma and Grandpa, an Oma and Opa.

How in the heck did this happen? It seems like just when you have somewhat figured things out things are changing. I think Moses must have felt like that. His life is marked by three sets of forty years. In each set he had to adjust, make decisions, take on different roles.

The last big adjustment came when he was eighty, yup 80. He was very reluctant, even when he knew for certain that God was talking to him. He came up with all kinds of objections and what ifs, and finally he told God to give the job to someone else, Moses said, ‘Please, Lord, send someone else.’ Then the LORD’s anger burned against Moses, …” Exodus 4:13-14 (HCSB). He ticked God off, He thought this was up for discussion, but it wasn’t anymore than becoming a grandparent is. God doesn’t come to us like He is working for Gallup Polls. He doesn’t reveal his will to us to see whether or not we like it. Moses didn’t realize what privilege it is to be called on by God to carry out His will. The question for Susie and I is not whether or not we like to be grandparents, the question is what kind of grandparents will we be.

I am wondering, has God been calling on you and all He is encountering is reluctance? An unwillingness to change, to adjust your life to His will? Have you been telling God to assign the responsibility to someone else? Are you in danger of ticking God off? Or have you already made him angry?

Moses could have written a book covering the first eighty years of his life, and it would have been great story. But it was the surrender, the adjustment to God’s will he made at eighty that made it a bestseller.

Looking back years later, I wonder if Moses just shook his head at his own foolishness when he thought about the time he told God, “Send someone else.” I wonder what advice he would give to you and me? Then again, I don’t think it is too hard to figure out if you read the story.

My prayer is that you and I will drop any reluctance, that we will see beyond the what ifs, and that we will rejoice in being called on by God?

To God be all glory, love you, Grandpa Hans

 

 

Read Full Post »

%d bloggers like this: