A Tire Performance

He looked to be about 25 years old—tall, thin and muscular. He stood at the back-end of a large, open, box-truck waiting to begin. It looked like it would be a boring, unglamorous, menial job of loading dirty tires to be hauled-away from the Costco tire shop. I was very wrong. Then, it began. The only thing missing from this incredible performance was an orchestra.

Tires started being launched at him in rapid succession as if from a “giant, rhythmic, tire, machine gun” inside the shop.  Not missing a beat, and with the appearance of no effort, he bent enough to grab the inside edge of each rolling tire. He skillfully used the incoming tires’ momentum, altered its trajectory, and slung it five to ten feet up into the back of the truck. Right arm, twist, sling, rotate, repeat. Over and over he did this with an occasional left arm movement thrown in. What an incredible show of strength, timing, and coordination. This man knew how to make something boring a work of art.  

Brothers are you turning every activity of your day into a pleasing offering of sacrifice to our God for His glory? “And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him” (Colossians 3:17). 

Your Turn

God put the tree of the knowledge of good and evil in the Garden to test Adam’s obedience. Adam disobeyed, and mankind still experiences the consequences. Actions of one flow down to others.

Jesus’ obedience to the Father brought Him to the cross to atone for man’s sin. “And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross” (Philippians 2:8). Jesus obeyed, and those who are Christ’s, experience the blessings of eternal life. Actions of One flow down to others. 

Now, our turn. Have you meditated on Romans 12:1? “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.” Daily we have manifold opportunities to bring God glory by loving obedience to Him. And the actions of one (you) flow down to others. Presenting yourself to God as a living sacrifice for His glory is impressed on the hearts of your family because what you love, obey, and give yourself to affirms your words of praise and adoration for your God and Savior. 

Steve

The Importance of Gratefulness

I want to be more thankful. It is easy for my thoughts to be stuck on problems, difficulties, unhappiness, or inconveniences rather than turning those into opportunities for gratitude. When my back hurts, rather than feel sorry for myself, a thankful heart is grateful for all I can do despite chronic back pain. When the day seems extra busy, rather than stress about it, a thankful heart praises God for each thing He sets before me to do. When a family member disappoints me, a thankful heart praises God for that loved one rather than allowing bitterness to creep in.

A thankful heart focuses on the positive and all that God is, does, and gives in our lives while an ungrateful one complains, seeing the negative. A thankful heart puts our minds on things above while ingratitude keeps them on ourselves and often grumbles in the process. 

Consider the following two verses:

In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you. 1 Thessalonians 5:18

Neither murmur ye, as some of them also murmured, and were destroyed of the destroyer. 1 Corinthians 10:10

What do you see in the verses? There appears to be a huge contrast between thanksgiving and being in the will of God versus murmuring, the opposite of thanksgiving, that leads to destruction. Who do you want to be? I sure know the one I choose. Don’t we as Christian women desire God’s will in our lives? He tells us to give thanks in every thing. On the other hand, we can be complainers, and those who chose that in the Old Testament account were destroyed. 

Then there is a convicting and concerning verse in Romans about being thankful. It goes like this: “Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened” (Romans 1:21). 

Dear Sisters, I believe this is serious, very serious, and I rebuke myself with it as well. We know God, so we must glorify Him as God – continually – and be thankful. When we aren’t thankful, we are complaining against the God of the Universe, and the One Who allows us to call Him, Abba Father. It is pride that takes us down that bad murmuring path, and the outcome is disastrous.

We don’t think of it in those terms, though. We justify and excuse our ingratitude and complaints, if we even consider that we don’t have a thankful heart and should. Maybe we think the complaint is just expressing truth and the way things are. We might deceive ourselves by saying the complaint is not a big deal and doesn’t really matter after all. Or we could say we aren’t ungrateful or complaining, but we are just pointing out areas that need to change (and that could be true and needed sometimes).  

Not only does gratitude keep our thoughts in the right place, but it makes us more pleasant people to live with. You may not even be aware of how depressing negativism is, with lack of thankfulness, to those around it. Don’t you want to bring smiles to your family? 

As we enter a month where we have a national holiday dedicated to thanksgiving, may we as believers be reminded again of the importance of thanksgiving every moment of every day. Challenge yourself to have grateful thoughts in your mind and when ingratitude enters, ask the Lord to help you turn it around.

Here are just a few more verses to help us keep this in the forefront of our minds.

“Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ” ( Ephesians 5:20).

“Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God” (Philippians 4:6).

“Continue in prayer, and watch in the same with thanksgiving” (Colossians 4:2).

Teri Maxwell

P.S. Not long after finishing this Mom’s Corner, Steve and I were exercising in our basement. I saw him doing chin ups. I know how much we both dislike that exercise, and I started to say, “So sorry you are stuck with chin ups today.” I got as far as “So sorry,” when the Mom’s Corner and thankfulness popped into my mind. I dropped the rest of what I planned to say, changing it to something like this, “Wow, Honey, I am so grateful that you are able to do chin ups.” 

There have been several times like that lately where I catch myself in the middle of ingratitude or right after a murmur and then speak out the grateful thoughts instead. Steve told me how much that thrills his heart when he hears that.  

Posted in: Mom's Corner

Do You Feel The Pull?

Prior to Jesus’ ministry beginning, He needed to put Satan “behind” Him (so do we). First, Satan unsuccessfully tempted Jesus to satisfy His flesh. Next would Jesus question/test God’s love? Finally, Satan tempted Jesus with, “… All these things will I give thee, if thou wilt fall down and worship me” (Matthew 4:9a). Yes, Satan wants your worship, and he offers you treasures if you don’t worship the Father. Satan’s lures are of this world. The question is: How much of our hearts have we given over to the treasures of this world?

Then Jesus said, “Get thee hence, Satan (Matthew 4:10a).” We must get rid of our love/worship of the world and the things of the world. God wants all of our hearts. Now in fairness: Have any of us given Him 100% of our hearts? We wish we would. With that goal, It is a daily process of shedding our love for the world and abiding in Him. “Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him” (1 John 2:15)

Seemingly, so many men are blind to the “death-grip” embrace they have on the world, which equates to love for and worship of these worldly things – leisure passions, success, status, money, pleasure (to name a few). “Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve” (Matthew 4:9b).

“But when he had turned about and looked on his disciples, he rebuked Peter, saying, Get thee behind me, Satan: for thou savourest not the things that be of God, but the things that be of men” (Mark 8:33). What do we love and worship, Brothers?