1805, 2015

7 Characteristics of Christians and Suffering

Life is hard. Most people know this. It is not always hard. But hard times eventually come to almost everybody. And when we do find ourselves in the midst of suffering, we need to have a good strong understanding from God about our suffering.

Yesterday I preached on Christians and suffering. You can listen to that sermon here.  The sermon is from 1 Peter 3:8-17

Here were my 7 points: 7 Characteristics of Christians and Suffering

  1. Christians have an identity that is stronger than their suffering circumstances (v.8)
    -Unity
    -Sympathy
    -Brotherly Love
    -Tender Heart
    -Humble Mind
  2. Christians do not react defensively toward suffering/afflictions/wrong doing (v.9)
    -Instead, Christians bless people.
  3. Christians live life to the fullest (enjoying life) because they know God (vv.10-12)
    -These verses are a quote from Psalm 34.
  4. Christians do not always face suffering for doing good (v.13)
    -Some people are recognized and honored for the good they do.
  5. Christians are ready to explain why they have such hope (v.15)
    -People will recognize our hope in our suffering, and they will ask us where that hope comes from. Christians are ready to tell them!
  6. Christians have a good/clear conscience (v.16)
    -Many people live with a guilty conscience. They have fear, guilt, shame, anxiety, etc. God removes that and gives a good conscience to those who trust Him.
  7. Christians think it is better to suffer for doing good rather than to do evil. (v.17)
    -Because of the hope that Christians have in their Great God and Savior, they are willing to suffer to the glory of God.

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1404, 2015

Lullaby for my daughter

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When our first son, Joshua Jr., was born on January 2, 2008, I wrote him a lullaby. I was overcome with God’s goodness to me. I couldn’t then and I cannot now believe that I am a father and daddy. I most certainly do not deserve all the blessing in my life. God is good to me. I don’t deserve it. I have memorized that lullaby, and I sing it now to all of our children. I had thought that I would be able to write each of them a lullaby, but I have just adapted this one to fit each of them. It is pretty much the same lullaby, but I did have to change more this time since she is a girl. Either way, it expresses my heart in life and fatherhood.

**LILIANA’S LULLABY**

Hush little Liliana don’t you cry
Daddy’s gonna sing you a lullaby
I hate to see you crying red-faced with tears
Let me tell you ‘bout us in the coming years
The joy of rearing you can make this grown man weap
Right here in my arms you can fall asleep
I’ll stare at your face & kiss your chubby cheeks
Watch you start to grow in the coming weeks
God gave you a great mother who takes care of you
In love together we will teach you what’s true
four bigger older siblings you can look up to
You become like them, yes I hope you do
It’s a simple lullaby about what matters in life
Like trusting in God & being a faithful wife
Like serving other people in devotion to the sword
The Word of Jesus Christ our Savior and Lord

Baby girl, I wanna teach you to throw and catch a ball
& I can hardly wait until you learn to crawl
We can walk to the park & I can push you on the swings
Raise you up right so you’ll appreciate things
I wanna teach you about pets like cats and dogs
And how to catch lizards, turtles, & frogs
I’ll show ya how to catch fish & how to bait a hook
how a boy should treat a girl and how to read a book
And how to play with kids and not be weak
Playing outdoor games like hide and seek
I wanna teach you about bruises, scabs and scars
take you on a walk at night to look at stars
I’ll teach you how to ride a bike & how to climb trees
I‘ll teach you about caterpillars, birds, & bees
I wanna pick you up when you fall & scrape your knees
Teach you how to pray, and say “yes sir” & “Please”
we can walk to the creek, I’ll show you how to skip a rock
I’ll show you how to play sports & how to speed walk
I wanna teach you how to not get upset by jokes
& how to be grateful & respect your folks
Liliana, I wanna teach you how to love your mom
& how to read the Bible, a daily Proverb & Psalm
It’s a simple lullaby about what matters in life
Like trusting in God & being a faithful wife
Like serving other people & devotion to the sword
The Word of Jesus Christ our Savior & Lord

Little girl, I wanna teach you how to be a lady
How to look ‘em in the eye & not be shady
How to keep your word & always work real hard
How to pay your bills on time & how to mow the yard
I’ll teach you how to keep a job & not be lazy
How to speak the truth in love and not be hazy
I wanna show you how to love & how to be a friend
And when to compromise and when to take a stand
And how to apologize and also how to forgive
Liliana, these are simple lessons on how to live
And life is not easy, it can be quite hard
Keep your eyes on Christ & don’t be caught off guard
It’s a simple lullaby about what matters in life
Like trusting in God & being a faithful wife
Like serving other people & devotion to the sword
The Word of Jesus Christ our Savior & Lord

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604, 2015

The Easter Story through Legos

My kids love Legos. They enjoy trying to re-make life experiences through Legos.

The other day while watching March Madness basketball, my 5 year old son, Eli, called me to the boys’ room to show me something.  I had never seen him do this before. And I did not help him with it. I thought it was cool. I love the sound effects!

 

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