Tag Archives: children

Button-pushing Cherub

Do you have one of these in your life—you know, the child that knows just what to say to get your blood boiling? I’ve been teaching children for forty years in various capacities: piano teacher, public and Christian school teacher, homeschool teacher, junior church and Sunday school teacher, Children’s Club and now Master Club teacher. I’ve always believed that God created me to teach. But last night, I was ready to quit.

We have three enemies: the world, our flesh, and the Devil. The world was telling me that I’m out of touch with this generation. My flesh was telling me that I’m too old. The Devil was on the sidelines hissing and nodding his agreement with the other two! And all of them were right!

I came home in tears and talked to God. When my husband came home, I could tell he was worried. My hero-fix-all-her-problems guy was sifting through his mind, looking for a way to solve this one. His solution was that a man should be in charge and I agree. But who?

After a time of relaxing, he read our devotions before turning in for the night. The devotional was just what I needed! POW! Right in the nose! God just pinned me to the wall about my heart and actions. Then, after a good night’s sleep, I did my usual start to the day: talk with my heavenly Father.  I’ve found that I MUST pray before my feet hit the floor or it doesn’t happen. I started praying for my little button-pushing-cherub, and God broke my heart.

You see, my question is, “Am I making any difference in these kids’ lives? Maybe it would be better to not allow those button-pushing-cherubs (BPCs) to come. Life would be so much easier! After all, I’m focusing on them and neglecting the good ones! They’re not listening anyway. (Typical BPC statement, and I quote: “I have an important question. When is game time?”)

Those may be true statements but they’re not from God. He put these little BPCs in my life for a reason. They are my mission! Perhaps God will use me to impact their lives!

Our theme for the year’s Master Club is “Run for God.” We’re singing “I’m Running” by Ron Hamilton and “Running for Jesus” by yours truly. As I sat in the dark talking to God, the words from these songs echoed in my brain.

I’m running, I’m running, but not for fame,

I’m running, I’m running, in Jesus’ name.

Keep running, keep running, to see His face.

Keep running, keep running the Christian race.

 

Though Satan will trip me, I’ll never give in.

I’ll never give up, or slow, or stop

I’ll run day by day.

And sing when I hear Him say, “Well Done!”

He led all the way.

Don’t give up, friend! Keep pressing on until you see His face! Don’t be mistaken, it’s a battle, but is there any other battle more worth fighting than for the souls of children? Stay in the battle until He changes the command!

 I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.

Philippians  3:14

Remember the Children!

Four beautiful little girls, curly hair bouncing in the sunlight upon the plain: They are the daughters of a wealthy man, a righteous man, a man of high standing, a man who knows God.  They are Lot’s daughters, descendants of the chosen and blessed son of Noah: Seth. Born in the tents of Abraham among family and beloved servants, their childhood was protected and promising. In Genesis eleven, Lot leaves Ur of the Chaldees, and heads out with his grandfather, Terah and his uncle, Abram, to another place: Haran, in the land north of Canaan.  In the next chapter, he heads south with Abram, taking all their wealth with them.  God had prospered their way.   But by chapter thirteen, there is strife between the herdmen.(v. 8)

And Lot lifted up his eyes, and beheld all the plain of Jordan, that it was well watered every where, before the LORD destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah, even as the garden of the LORD, like the land of Egypt, as thou comest unto Zoar.(Genesis 13:10)  A decision was made, Abram said they needed to part, not wanting to be a poor testimony to the people around them; and Lot made a agriculturally strategic move.  Certainly, God would continue to bless his way—he was the nephew of Abram, and God was with Abram! He wouldn’t be in the wicked cities, but in the plain.  Lot dwelled in the cities of the plain, and pitched his tent toward Sodom. (Genesis 13:12)

It wouldn’t matter that the men of Sodom were wicked: He was a righteous man—he knew the ways of God and had taught them to his little girls… pitched his tent toward Sodom. How long was it until Lot sat in the gate of Sodom? (Genesis 19:1) Little by little, Lot’s family was influenced by their surroundings.  The girls made friends with the children, his wife swapped stories with the other women of Sodom at the community well. Lot was well respected and rose in affluence among the men of the city.  Were the men of Sodom any less wicked when Lot arrived than when the angels arrived?  Probably not; however, even wicked men can put their “best foot forward” and be civil.

Did Lot choose to overlook their wickedness and be tolerant of their lifestyle?  Did he preach to them?  Did he himself embrace the ways of the true God, or had he been more of a spectator?  The Bible calls him “just” (2 Peter 2:7) which would mean that he had a true understand of God and His righteous ways; however, something went desperately wrong… pitched his tent toward Sodom.

His beautiful daughters are now married to ungodly men who mock Lot when he warns them of God’s judgment.  Did his tolerance translate into hypocrisy in their eyes?  Whatever the case, it cost him the lives of his children.  His daughters died along with the wicked under the fierce judgment of God, whether they knew better or not.  All the influences of a righteous uncle during their childhood could not save them from the destruction brought on by their lifestyle choices and acquaintances. .. and he pitched his tent toward Sodom.

Even Lot’s wife did not believe that the God of Abraham would truly judge her.  God’s command was simple, delivered directly by messengers from heaven!  She did not read about it in a letter from God: She heard the words spoken while standing in the very presence of heavenly citizens!  And yet, she turned.  Such a simple act, just a small thing… and pitched his tent toward Sodom.

Now, alone in a cave, the worst is yet to come for Lot.  His wife is gone, his married daughters and their husbands, possibly grandchildren are gone.  Was there an heir for him that was left in the city of Sodom?  We don’t know. .. and he pitched his tent toward Sodom.

Where did his younger daughters learn about drunkenness?  Where did they learn about incest?  How did they come to such a wicked solution? If they had kept on the path of righteousness, it is very possible that one of their children would have been Isaac’s wife and an heir to all of God’s promises. After all, Abraham married his half-sister, and Rebekah was Nahor’s granddaughter, making Isaac her second cousin. The relationship would have been similar for Lot’s children!   …but he pitched his tent toward Sodom.

Abraham lived for one hundred, seventy-five years.  As far as we know, Lot lived for one hundred years.  He became the patriarch of two nations who were the enemies of God’s people, but even hundreds of years later, when God’s prophecies concerning Abraham’s descendants would finally become a reality, God remembered Lot…

And the LORD said unto me, Distress not the Moabites, neither contend with them in battle: for I will not give thee of their land for a possession; because I have given Ar unto the children of Lot for a possession. ..And when thou comest nigh over against the children of Ammon, distress them not, nor meddle with them: for I will not give thee of the land of the children of Ammon any possession; because I have given it unto the children of Lot for a possession. Deuteronomy 2:9, 19

What a life!  What a tragic story!  How bazaar!  Even though entire cities and plains are destroyed by fire and brimstone which rained down from heaven—the evidence still seen in that area today—God spared one man, his wife, and two daughters.  And even though the wife was destroyed and the daughters were immoral, God still remembered His promises!

The lessons for us today are many:

  1. Where have you pitched your tent?  This world and the god of this world are after our children, ready to devour them at every turn! Focus on God!  Make Him real in your life and show that reality to your children. Is there not a cause?  (1Samuel 17:29)
  2. Be careful of your tolerance. Choose carefully when you need to be a Daniel, standing alone FOR CHRIST.  That’s a difficult thing.  We just watched a student production of “The Lottery” by Shirley Jackson.  It’s a satire about a town which holds a lottery every year where one person is chosen to be stoned.  The point is that we need to be careful that we are holding on to God’s Word, not man’s traditions.  Sometimes, the two may be difficult to discern; however, there is a God in heaven Who will ALWAYS lead you aright if you ASK Him to!  It is possible to be intolerant and still show the love of Christ!
  3. Believe! We serve an Awesome, Almighty, Omnipotent, Omnipresent, Omniscient, Prayer-answering God of the Universe!  Is any thing too hard for the LORD? (Genesis 18:14)  He is the same God of Genesis!  He is still in charge!  He is still leading and directing even the lives of wicked men so that He may be glorified, and He wants to pour out His blessings on your life.  He is holy, and He requires the same of His children!
  4. Don’t believe a lie.  How often I’ve heard a parent of a grown, wayward child make excuses for their compromising example. They shake their heads and wonder where they went wrong, when the answer is often as plain as the nose on their faces!  They just refuse to see it and change….and he pitched his tent towards Sodom.

This is quite the harsh article, but I pray that it will stir a heart—maybe just one—who will take a second look at life and turn the tent!

Only one live, twill soon be past.

Only what’s done for Christ will last.

Jennifer’s Bible

Dear readers,

I would like to share something very precious with you.  I know some of you do not personally know our family, but I hope this will be both a challenge and a blessing to you all.  You probably need to know that I am very emotional right now. After spending the last two nights with my newest grandson (again, thanks Mom – now I KNOW what you did for me!!!), I’m a bit weary.  Add to that the overwhelming joy and thrill of another grandson entering safely into this world, and hopefully, you will understand!  Once again, this verse has had its meaning renewed in my heart: A woman when she is in travail hath sorrow, because her hour is come: but as soon as she is delivered of the child, she remembereth no more the anguish, for joy that a man is born into the world. John 16:21

I am sharing with you the inscription on my daughter’s first Bible.  It was given to her on her first birthday.  It’s not a cute little white “Baby’s First Bible,” but an Old Scofield King James!  My dear husband wrote the inscription as follows:

To – Jennifer Ingrid MacAvoy on your first birthday: 9/30/86

From – Daddy and Mommy

Jennifer-

To my little princess (or ‘dumplin’, as Aunt Ruth would say) –

I wanted to give you this Bible because you my prayer for you is to be saved at an early age and that you will find God’s will for your life and do it.

A few days ago, I was pulling up the floor in the kitchen and you stood up (on your own) behind me and grabbed my back.  You still can’t walk, but you’re getting close.  No teeth yet! – but lots of beautiful hair from the day you were born.

You are a great joy and blessing to your mother and me.  You remind me so much of your mother – you’re my “little Spunky,” (Since I married “big Spunky,” that’s a compliment!)

Last year we were so glad that the Lord gave us a little girl.  You’re on loan from God to us.  Although God allowed us to be your parents, you belong to Him first.  That’s why finding His will for your life is so important.

I pray that I’ll be the Daddy you need.  Please don’t ever hesitate to come to me for help.

I love you!

Daddy

My husband and his brother are both Baptist pastors (that’s another story!), both first generation Christians.  Between the two families, we have seven children and all of them have or will be marrying godly spouses.  By the end of the year, there will be fifteen children in the next generation – the third generation.  Will they all have a heart for the Lord – we all certainly pray that way; but I write this to say it takes more than just hope and a prayer – it takes dedication and an example.  One of my favorite quotes from my brother-in-law, which he shared with us early on in our parenting, was this: YOU MUST BE DESPERATE FOR YOUR CHILDREN!

The letter above is just a small glimpse into our family, but I hope it will be a challenge to you: Young people – you will not marry a godly spouse unless you are godly! Wear out your Bibles!  Young parents – take a tip from Nike: just do it! Don’t settle for good children – go for godly!  The best gifts you can give your grandchildren are godly parents!  I wish you could see this Bible.  It was Jennifer’s only Bible until she was thirteen.  I’m taking it to Master Club tonight as a challenge to my students, giving them a glimpse of what it takes to be godly!  Grandparents – keep pouring yourselves into your children and grandchildren, and remember: it’s never too late to change a bad habit/example!  (I’m speaking from experience J)  Live a godly example before them.  Our world is dying for a good example from us all!whole family

I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth. 3 John 1:4