New Parts

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Recently we went camping, setting up our temporary digs in an RV park near a large city. Our next door neighbor was an elderly man, staying for six weeks so that he could take advantage of the excellent medical facilities nearby. Several weeks into his stay, I asked him how he was recovering from cataract surgery.

“I can see as if I were twenty years old again!” He replied. “With my new eyes, new teeth, and new hearing aids, I feel like Mr. Potato Head.” He made me laugh.

mr potato head2Being made new on the outside is certainly cause for rejoicing. But being made new on the inside is even more freeing.

You know that fleeting feeling of newness that comes when you have done something well? The confidence that comes from seeing that you are becoming the best version of yourself ? You  2.0?

The question is, are we teaching our children to feel like Mr. Potato Head, too? Are we allowing them, on the inside, to replace malfunctioning parts with new ones? Replace mistakes with new opportunities for success? Replace bad memories with good ones?

When a child does something wrong, it is important that we let him know that he can be made new again. That he can receive new eyes, seeing himself successful and well-loved. New ears where he can hear good words about how he is valued and capable. New joy that comes from doing something well.

Let us remember today to give ourselves – and our children – new inward parts, new confidence, and new opportunities for success.

~ The End ~

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Modern Day Disciples

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Parental example is the primary standard by which young children measure acceptable behavior. One of the values we strive to transfer to our young people is our belief in God (see Transferring Values). However, sometimes we perceive our faith as weak and wonder what kind of example we are actually setting.

Here is PROOF that we are capable of great faith!

I used to think that folks who anchored their lives on God’s promises were somehow supernatural in themselves. That walking by faith – believing that God’s Word will come to pass – required great strength. When we read about how God moved a mountain in someone’s life, how they were healed, how a negative situation was transformed into a great victory, we sometimes think, “Wow, I will never have that kind of faith.”

But the other day I realized that although these events are wonderful, nothing takes more faith than driving in rush hour traffic. Think about it. Here you are, strapped to the interior of a machine filled with explosive fuel, with spark plugs firing under the hood, driving amid all the crazies of the world.

Careening by you at the speed of light, on the right, is a car filled with 16 year-old boys who are mesmerized by the beat from their CD and by the woman in the car to your left. As for the single beauty on your left, she is busy multitasking with her lipstick in the mirror, her pink cell phone, a mocha java latte, and the car of teenage boys. Forget about Grandpa talking to his dog, the windowless van weaving in and out of traffic, or the harried mother trying to stop the fighting in the back seat. Anyone in their right mind will admit that this exercise alone proves that the angels of the Lord are encamped round about us.

We read about how the disciples rowed out into the deep and met with high waves, and we think that their faith is unattainable. Yet, I believe that each day we more than measure up. Each time we slip behind the wheel and turn on the ignition, we exercise remarkable faith. We honestly believe that we will arrive safely at our destination even though, statistically speaking, it is not a logical conclusion.

Each day we believe as the disciples did, that we will get to the other side. We have faith – supernatural faith – faith that moves mountains, and we take it out for a spin every day. Knowing this, let us now go forth and do great things.

“If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed … nothing shall be impossible unto you.”

Matthew, Chapter 17: Verse 20

~ The End ~

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