Tag Archives: children

Chosen Parents

This is actually a piece I did some years ago for another venue.  Sharing today because parenting has been the topic in a number of interactions.  And sharing with thankfulness that God chose us to be the parents of our precious kids.  Sorry, guys…but trust God has a plan :)!  We love you!

You are the parent God chose for your child. Isn’t that a puzzling, sometimes overwhelming concept? As we begin walking the labyrinth of parenting, the paths ahead are blessedly shrouded. The parenting journey includes delights beyond imagination and thorny passages which instill fear and frustration. God’s Word tells us the Creator Himself shepherds those with young and guides them on the paths; yet, it doesn’t always feel that way. At times the complexities of parenthood give the illusion that God stepped off the throne as challenges were assigned or that perhaps He confused us with a wiser, more loving and experienced parent. The reality is more incredible than we can begin to grasp. In His infinite love and wisdom, God chose each parent and each child as unique, perfect gifts for one another. The blessings are mutual; the plan perfect.

God uses the tool of parenthood to craft His family likeness into earthly moms and dads. He longs for His glory to be revealed in the parenting privilege. Nearly a decade and a half 12657360_10207170306008051_3018063976232311083_oago, we brought our baby home from the N-ICU with overwhelming joy, awe, fear and a numbing sense of inadequacy. The ability of a five-pound baby to bring a prideful heart to its knees is powerful! God continues to use the University of Motherhood to draw me unto Himself, to unveil the reality that His strength is revealed in my weaknesses and what a superb reality!

My pride had rejoiced in meeting the challenges of life head-on. The magnitude of the responsibility for nurturing this precious life shattered every competency I had ever relied upon. Parenthood has taught me I do not need to be in control and managing every detail perfectly. It has taught me that struggling is okay! It is not a sign of defeat to be engaged in a battle. Struggles simply strip away the deceits which have hidden the doorway to God’s strength. The inequities and burdens of life create opportunities for God to transform parents and to begin drawing our beloved children to Him. Struggles are to help us embrace His presence in our lives with confident hopewith certaintythat His plans and purposes are perfect. As we hold fast to that hope, the very image of God begins to shine forth in our liveschanging us, lighting our children’s paths and touching all those around us!

Beyond the challenges of parenthood lie mountains which dot the landscape of our children’s future–mountains woven into the design of our children’s lives by their loving, heavenly Father. His love for our children is greater and more perfect than ours. 12657229_10207170304128004_2826006339242221287_oGod would never allow a mountain for which He has not provided provisions for conquering. Parents are a key part of those provisions. The parent God chooses for a child has the strengths and the weaknesses to guide their children to the Shepherd Himself. God longs to take the hands of our children and guide them in life. Leading our children to the One who provides abundantly is the key task of our parenting assignment. Treasure the challenges on your parenting journey as the doorways to Christ. There is a splendor possible through embracing God’s presence in the trials of life which will produce faith that perseveres and moves mountains aside.

Extra Insights
Being chosen as a parent is a life-transforming gift from a loving God. We have been chosen to receive another precious gift from God:  eternal life. God longs for each of us to embrace His plan for us to become His child–to be made perfect through faith in His son, Jesus Christ. Becoming His child is the key to becoming the parent your child needs. If you do not have a loving relationship with the heavenly Father, choose to change that today!
SCRIPTURES: Psalm 127:3; Jeremiah 29:11-14; 2 Corinthians 12:9; Hebrews 10:35; 2 Corinthians 3:18; James 1; Matthew 17:28

 

Originally written for Handivangelism, Heart-to-Heart Magazine

Finding Your God-Given Design

GIFTS FROM THE FATHER – Romans 12

DESIGN
SIN TO BATTLE
VICTORY TO WIN
SCRIPTURAL EXAMPLES
NAME OF GOD TO MEDITATE ON
Idol of control
Fullness of Relationships!
John the Baptist, Miriam, Naomi
Jehovah Jireh
Idol of peace
Finding value in God’s eyes!
Joseph (father of Jesus), Barnabas, Timothy
Jehovah Rophe
Idol of being right
Live Truth not just know it!
Luke, Isaiah, Samuel
Jehovah Nissi
Idol of comfortable
Embracing hard times for joy set before you!
Paul, Jeremiah, Moses
Jehovah Shalom
Idol of materialism
Excellent stewardship of God’s resources!
Matthew, Abraham, Job
Jehovah Rohi
Idol of me
Leadership that blesses masses!
Joseph (coat of many colors), Nehemiah, Noah
Jehovah Tsidkenu
Idol of my way
Intimacy with God that delivers holiness!
John (son of Thunder), Ruth, David
Jehovah Shammah
JESUS FULLY PORTRAYED EVERY ASPECT OF THESE DESIGNS. WE ARE DESIGNED TO GROW INTO HIS IMAGE…TO GROW INTO ALL OF THESE AREAS, BUT WE HAVE A DEFAULT DESIGN THAT GOD GAVE US.

This is only a portion of the gifts from the Father, Son and Spirit.  Visit Discipleship-Coaching for further information.

Finding Your Design: Leader (Ruler)

In Romans 12, we find the Father giving gifts to people.  Contemplating those ‘gifts’ as individual design can be eye-opening!  For further information, visit the Discipleship Coaching – Design page.

Are you a Leader?

The leader enjoys planning and pressure–and thinks everyone else does too! A ruler is skilled at time management but cannot be micro-managed or scheduled against their will. They do not go about assigning blame to others but find ways to fix the problems that come about. The God-designed ruler has an incredible ability to help people findtheir place and is masterful at using imperfect people…but may drive people too hard.

Rulers sometimes fail to seek the wisdom of God and rely on their own instincts. They may fall into the trap of thinking the ends justify the means. There is potential for great good in a Godly ruler and great devastation when this personality runs afoul of the Lord.

When living in the Lord, the Ruler gifting has the potential of bringing great blessings to many.

Finding Your Design: Giver

In Romans 12, we find the Father giving gifts to people.  Contemplating those ‘gifts’ as individual design can be eye-opening!  For further information, visit the Discipleship Coaching – Design page.

Are you a Giver?

Who owns it all? There is the question the Giver must answer…and the right answer, of course, is God. The Giver who stewards what God owns instead of seeking to find comfort in resources has much to offer the Kingdom of God. Resources simply flow to the Giver; learning to allow God access and control of those resources is the pinnacle for this gifting.Giving Tree

A desire for control opens the door in the Giver’s life for the enemy. Sometimes that desire looks sweet: like providing for others. Digging to the root of immature finds that the gifts are actually meeting the givers need to be needed by others. Since only Christ meets any need fully, victory comes to the Giver when he/she releases resources to the control of God.

Finding Your Design: Exhorter

In Romans 12, we find the Father giving gifts to people.  Contemplating those ‘gifts’ as individual design can be eye-opening!  For further information, visit the Discipleship Coaching – Design page.

Are you an Exhorter?

Now there’s a word we don’t use often! An exhorter is one who encourages, one who builds teams and enjoys people. The exhorter is a world-changer who loves a crowd…and is loved by the crowd. A networker attuned to people’s feelings, this gifting is not intimidated by new ideas and has masterful communication skills.

Pleasing people is something many of us struggle with, but the exhorter feels the weight even more. Sensitivity to criticism makes the exhorter prone to please people instead of God–and causes the agenda of others to take priority over the agenda of the King. Time management issues play into the struggle.

The exhorter has great potential for drawing people into knowing God personally when the cult of comfort is laid to rest! Growing disciples is the fruit of the mature exhorter.

Finding Your Design: Teacher

In Romans 12, we find the Father giving gifts to people.  Contemplating those ‘gifts’ as individual design can be eye-opening!  For further information, visit the Discipleship Coaching – Design page.

Are you a Teacher?

Ezra, Luke, Mary and Isaiah are among the teacher types in Scripture. You may be a teacher if you are a research-oriented person who likes to write. Teachers hate conflict but have a quick wit and humor. They are not likely to receive new truth quickly–or reject ideas out of hand. The teacher tends not to be judgmental which makes them safe for others and not intimidating.

Even though the tendency is not to be judgmental, immature teachers have an equally challenging negative: keeping studies in the head and not melding in the heart. Teachers prefer to have the path laid out before they start and often feel unworthy of leading. Self-centered religiosity keeps the teacher from reaching their designed heights.

Teachers must learn to live out what their heads know. When they do, they blend teaching and discipline to the Body that cleanses!

Finding Your Design: Servant

In Romans 12, we find the Father giving gifts to people.  Contemplating those ‘gifts’ as individual design can be eye-opening!  For further information, visit the Discipleship Coaching – Design page.

Are you a Servant?

Are you the one who simply cannot say no? Do you get angry over being used and feel like no one else ever does their share? Do you hear the lie that says you are nobody…even while you run yourself ragged to please everybody else? Maybe God has designed you as a servant…but that is not a doormat. See if these characteristics speak of you:

  • Work well with others and honor them
  • Make excuses for others
  • Hard worker
  • Obedience is easy for you
  • Reach out for the unloveable people
  • Desire to walk in holiness
  • Like to make others comfortable

If that is you, here is a beautiful truth. God knows your heart is to serve and He can trust you more than most because of that! You have great authority when you learn to not respond to life as a victim. Your victory lies in understand you are worthy in the eyes of God!

Finding Your Design: Prophet

In Romans 12, we find the Father giving gifts to people.  Contemplating those ‘gifts’ as individual design can be eye-opening!  For further information, visit the Discipleship Coaching – Design page.

Are you a Prophet?

Lots of folks have claimed to be prophets over the years, and perhaps they were. But like every gift, it can be used to glorify God or not. Immature prophets can be harsh and act as if they were god himself. The immature prophet is opinionated and more skilled at tearing down than building up. Good intentions are not absent but excelling is seen as the way to please God. The prophet struggles to enjoy close relationships.

The mature prophet, on the other hand, takes the principles of God to build relationships to their intended beauty. The prophet who walks in the Light receives mercy and forgiveness from God and effectively distributes it to others. The prophet has immense potential grow the Body of Christ to great beauty!

Some behavioral traits to help you identify if this is your design:

  • See things in black & white
  • Logic driven
  • Bold
  • Faith is an easy thing
  • Hate status quo
  • Quick to judge or categorize
  • Fixer

Spending time in the presence of God

The presence of God transforms!  Do you drink it in or wonder where it is?  Is the presence of God a moment-by-moment awareness for you—or an illusionary concept?  Would you be surprised to know His presence is not always in a Church…or that the Living Word can be void of vitality?  In Acts 17, Paul spoke to those who worshiped without life:

“…so that they might look for God, somehow reach for him, and find him. Of course, he is never far from any one of us. For we live, move, and exist because of him, as some of your own poets have said: ‘For we are his children, too.’” (verses 27 and 28)

It is not the heartbeat of God to have lifeless worship.  He longs for you to enjoy His presence because He wants to enjoy yours.  Are you weary of life?  If you are, spend time with LIFE and enjoy the abundance.  Without His presence, life drains the strongest. That is right and good, for God never intended that we would live this life on our own!

His Word and the Church are tools the Spirit uses to help us know what God is like…so that we can recognize His

Toni Verdú Carbó The Passage of Time
Toni Verdú Carbó
The Passage of Time

presence.  Like those in Athens, though, sometimes we mistake the tools for the Truth.  Time in the Word and time with believers are necessities in the life of a Christian…but they are not Life itself.

The echo of hearts crying, “Is this all there is?” beats at the doors of heaven.  “There is so much more!” calls the Father.  “Come, walk in the light.” And to those of us who walk in His light, the great commission still stands:  “Go, make disciples.”   Our grand purpose in life is to live in the Light of the love of the Father and help others do the same.  He longs for us to bring his light to a world covered in shadows so others may know He lives!

Those shadows conceal treasures…treasures of darkness only children of the Light can unearth.  Without the Light, the shadows terrify.  The shadows cause those in the dark to trip and fall prey to the lies of the enemy.  Jesus, the Light of the World, reveals the snares and the beauties shrouded in darkness.  When we spend time in the light, we absorb light and can be a lamp for others.  We are called to be servants!  Let’s take light into the shadows, light that exposes the pits, expels the evil and unearths precious gems!

What shadows will you illuminate today?  Can we stand with you in prayer?

 

If you struggle to enter the presence of God, some thoughts and tips can be found here.

Family Life: New Parents

Beautiful homes are not built from the roof down or from the outside in.  Neither are lives.  Leaving a legacy…being left a legacy begins in infancy.

 The heart is the source of life.  The heartwork of parenting is truly hardwork!  Make it a goal to identify attitudes and not be distracted by actions. Heart work is also eternal work and worthy of focused, faithful effort.

3020719712_a10dd80a2b_qProverbs 24:3,4 tells us a home is built with wisdom, established with understanding and furnished with knowledge.  The lives of our children require the same building plan.  The greatest goal of our parenting effort is to prepare our children for their work of building their hearts into temples of the Holy Spirit.

God does not have grandchildren.  Just as David provided his son, Solomon, with the building plan and resources for the Temple, we must parent to provide our children with knowledge of God’s design and precious, durable materials for building their lives.

 

 

What knowledge or discipline will you impart to your children today to help them build their spiritual house?

Would you like to read more on parenting with a plan?  Here’s a place to get started.