Happy Thursday, friends. I thought I'd share some more on one of our time honored traditions that we made a priority when our sons were little. I've talked about this before and I'll talk about it many more times, I'm sure—and that is our tradition and habit of faithful church attendance and other habits that came from that.
I realize as I write this that we're still under very heavy guidelines because of Covid and I think those may tighten up even more as winter goes on, but pretend it's a normal time and that you have the option of going and attending multiple times each week. I can never recommend making this a top priority in your family and even if you weren't raised that way yourself, what could the harm be of trying it out for yourself? I was always so glad to take our sons there so often because of the wonderful biblical principals that were ingrained in them from years of attending, ones that still shine through today.
What seems like just "fun" for them is really people pouring into their lives values, integrity and sound doctrine from the Word of God. They do make friends there, sure, but that's not the only reason to go. They learn of God's faithfulness to generations who turned their back on Him, they learn of His unending love for those of us who belong to Him, and they learn how to apply what they've learned into their everyday lives. I'll give you one example of this and this is something I just read on Wednesday morning in my own quiet time.
Out of just one verse, I read that I am to be merciful to others, I am to be kind, I am to be humble, gentle and patient with everyone I come across in life. These are things we all need to remember each day of our lives and if I hadn't read this that morning, I might not have displayed any of those characteristics to people I came across while I was out and about yesterday.
Reading the Bible is so important and one benefit from reading it daily is being able to apply it to my life in a practical way.
Because of sickness right now, church isn't an option for many people. I would recommend finding an online service to watch together. Thanks to the wonderful world of technology that we live in today, you can do your own research and find a church suited for your needs. I would recommend being careful and doing a bit of homework over the pastor first. There are some false teachers out there who people in the world have labeled as "wonderful and godly" who are anything but. I'm specifically thinking of Joel Osteen when I write this, but I know there are many more. Just beware and maybe ask someone you know and trust who they like. I have several recommendations I can always give you, as well, so reach out to me if you have questions. If you'd like to email me, my address is firstname.lastname@example.org.
Read the Bible together as a family. If you have little ones, it's fine if you use one of their children's Bibles as the one you read from. However you get into reading the Bible is of no importance, what matters is that you're reading the Bible. When my sons were young, Veggie Tales was all the rage. Those movies were short and powerful, and I learned so much from watching alongside them. There is NO SHAME if you don't know the Bible, just start with today and move on from there.
Listen to good music! If you have little ones, consider listening to music that will hide God's Word in the hearts of your little ones. You can check out groups like Seeds Family Worship, Hillsong Kids or Kidz Praise on YouTube, but there are lots of options. If you like the radio, find a K Love station near you or Air One, their sister station. Or just pick worship music that YOU like and they will like it, like my boys loved my music when they were young. They had no idea that when they sang those songs on the radio that they were quoting Scripture.
These are just some recommendations for you to try, because as you know yourself, this world is a scary place right now. I love what my mom-in-love says about believing in and following Jesus—when people ask her how they know He's real, she says that she'd rather be wrong and never find out until she dies than to be one who never believed in and followed Him and find out when they die that she was right. Some of you are reading this and maybe the Lord is drawing you to Him. I've had several conversations with people about this lately and I'll say to you what I said to them: don't wait! If you have questions, reach out to someone today.
As for our future, who knows what is going to happen from here? Things might start to look a little differently for us here in the U.S. and we might actually have to face some real persecution for our faith in Jesus. Even so, now is not the time to back down. It's scary and if I let myself linger in the thoughts of what could come, I will feel anxious with the uncertainty. But I know that God is always good, and for those of us who know Him as our Savior, He will never leave us or forsake us. He will be right there with us to help us through whatever hard times may come. More than ever before in my life, I sense an urgency to share Jesus with everyone I run into and people are scared and are willing to listen. We must not be timid about our faith, fellow sisters in Christ. We desperately need Jesus and what better time than the present to try to be more faithful in our service to Him? So watch that service with your family this coming weekend, or attend the in-person service if you're able and wear the mask if that's what they ask. I'd gladly do just about anything they asked to be back in person after a two week break.
Be faithful to God as He has been faithful to you, serve Him willingly and be ready to share your faith wherever you go, even when you're in the grocery line waiting.
Be strong, be bold, be kind and gentle, be courageous and STAND FIRM.
Thanks for reading my blog, friends. Love to all.