This morning I was telling Daniel it was time to start his school work. Daniel would rather spend time on the computer than do school work, so he had an idea. He told me he would just do his schoolwork online instead. I told him his school work wasn’t online…it was sitting on the kitchen table and we needed to get started. Daniel asked me to just try http://www.sixyearoldschoolonthecomputer.com I tried it just to show him it wasn’t there. In Daniel’s world, everything is at http://www.com you just have to type it in.
It’s amazing how different the world is than when I was a kid. My kids are use to pausing live TV and watching their favorite kids shows OnDemand. When my kids are playing and one of them needs to get something or has to go to the bathroom…they yell “pause” and everyone stops playing till they return. They “pause” their real-life play just like TV and movies.
While listening to Christmas music on the radio station, Jessica’s favorite singers came on…Alvin and the Chipmunks…she thinks they are a riot! But when the song ended, she was very frustrated that I wouldn’t “go back” to that song again. She didn’t understand the concept of the radio. In her 4 year old world, all music can be skipped ahead or jumped back to the song you want to listen to.
For my little ones…all cameras let you see the picture as soon as you take it, watching videos made on your cell phone is the norm, and everything is accessible through http://www.com. They don’t understand planning your week around the one showing of Charlie Brown Christmas special each year. They don’t know what it is like to wait a week or more to see if your photos turned out. They have no concept of dialing a rotary phone and how that might work. We live in a instant world! It makes me feel old, but it hasn’t really been that many years. It truly makes me wonder what the world will be like 10 years from now.
This is the time of year when we scramble to finish our Christmas shopping list. Some people just buy something to give while others agonize over “the right” gift. They say it’s “the thought that counts,” but it’s always nice to give a gift that has that “personal touch.”
In Genesis 1, we learn that God created the world and all that was in it. He SPOKE the world into existence. With just a word, God’s vision became reality. How amazing!
But there was something different about how God created man:
The LORD God formed the man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being. Genesis 2:7
God seemed to add a more personal touch when He created man. He formed Him and breathed life into Him.
I’ve heard people say that they believe there is a God, but they don’t believe that God is involved in their daily lives. Their belief is of a God who set things into motion and then sits back to see what happens…kind of like watching TV. But I believe that God is very involved in our creation and our daily life. I believe He adds His personal touch to each of us from the beginning:
For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. Psalm 139:13
Dave Ramsey (in his Financial Peace video) said he could picture God with knitting needles knitting together the strains of DNA to form each and everyone of us. Now I’m sure God isn’t really knitting babies all day, but I believe the idea that He is personally involved in our creation is in line with Scripture:
Yet, O LORD, you are our Father.
We are the clay, you are the potter;
we are all the work of your hand. Isaiah 64:8
So what? If God has put His personal touch on you, then you are not an accident. God has a plan for your creation and you can take comfort in the fact that He can use you. We are not cookie cutter people who all fit one mold…we are unique individuals formed with a specific design and purpose in mind. What has God created you to do?
…IT POURS. Sometimes that is so true! We’ve had two major appliances die in less than a week’s time.
First, was the dryer. Our dryer was only 5 years old but with 8 of us, it has done more work than the average dryer. Last year Donald and I replaced the belt on it but other than that, it’s been no trouble at all. But last Thursday, it stopped spinning, drying, and made a horrible sound when you tried to run it. As best as we could figure…the engine was shot so we set out to buy a new one. Don’t you love it when you have to replace things right before Christmas?
I knew I was NOT getting the dryer that matched my front-loader washer. It was going to cost at least $1100! I decided to get an updated version of the dryer I already had. Same manufacture (Whirlpool) and same drying capacity as the $1100 dryer…it just didn’t have the electronic keypad and a window in the door. This one was less than $500.
We bought the dryer, got it all set up and we were back in the laundry business at my house…just in time too.
The next Tuesday night, I pulled dinner out of the oven and it wasn’t as hot as it should be. I just set it back in for longer and didn’t think much of it. Then on Wednesday I went to start dinner (I was going to cook a ham….yum) but nothing happened. The lights didn’t come on and neither heating element heated. I tried several times. The only thing that worked was the oven light.
Of course, we rent a house so my first response was to be thankful we rent and have a good landlord. The oven was probably original to the house (built in the 80’s). We contacted our landlord and he told us we could go ahead and replace it (he lives in Hawaii so he’s not here to take care of those things). Yesterday, Donald and I went out in search of an oven. Sears Outlet just happened to be having a sale on all their built-in appliances. We got a good deal on an oven and got it installed last night. Now we are back in business. I think my taste-buds are still waiting on that ham!
In the last year we have bought a new washer and a new dryer. Our landlord has replaced the dishwasher and oven. There’s only a refrigerator and a stove-top left. Hopefully they won’t need replacing too soon.
Finally, brothers, we instructed you how to live in order to please God, as in fact you are living. 1 Thessalonians 4:1
Am I living in a way that pleases God? Paul tells the Thessalonian church that they are living in a way that pleases God. Certainly that is the way I want to live.
But then I wonder, what are they doing that so pleases God? When I turn back a chapter, I think I discover the answer:
But Timothy has just now come to us from you and has brought good news about your faith and love. 1 Thessalonians 3:6
Their faith and love…a winning combination. It is not enough to just have faith.
If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. 1 Corinthians 13:2
Faith without love does not draw people to Christ. Some people get so caught up in their great faith in God that they become intolerant of those who do not believe. They can be very judgemental and lack compassion and mercy. The message then becomes twisted and turns people off. God wants us to have faith but it must be balanced with love for people.
For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision has any value. The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love. Galatians 5:6
And love itself without faith doesn’t produce anything lasting. Yes, there are people who love without having faith in God. But what good does love really do if it doesn’t draw people to Christ? What matters is eternity, and if love is just for the sake of love (being kind, compassionate, showing mercy) in the end, it really doesn’t do any good. I could go through life loving everyone I meet, but if I don’t have a faith that points them to Christ, then although I may improve their earthly time, what about their eternity?
Paul was always commending this whenever he saw it in any of the churches.
For this reason, ever since I heard about your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all the saints, I have not stopped giving thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers. Ephesians 1:15-16
We always thank God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, when we pray for you, because we have heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and of the love you have for all the saints— the faith and love that spring from the hope that is stored up for you in heaven and that you have already heard about in the word of truth, the gospel that has come to you. All over the world this gospel is bearing fruit and growing, just as it has been doing among you since the day you heard it and understood God’s grace in all its truth. Colossians 1:3-6
When we have faith and love, then we are reflecting God’s character. The Psalms are full of songs of God’s love and faithfulness towards us. We need to have the faith in God and the love for others that will point others to Him and then we are living a life that pleases God.