Bragging Rights

Tuesday, 10-27-09

My daughter, Madison is a 1st grader. She loves school. She loves her teacher. She loves her friends and her friends love her.

They tested for reading levels a few weeks ago. We knew she was a great reader, but was unsure how the testing would go. She ended up testing very well. After they had gotten their scores back, several of the girls were talking about it. Even though she knew, Madison never would say her score.

I visited lunch last week and the subject came up again, One friend said, “I got a 16 ”. By the way, that’s pretty good for a 1st grader. Another girl said, “My mom said I am the best reader in the whole class.” My father’s pride kicked in and everything in me wanted to brag that Madison was, in fact, the best reader in the class and that she scored a 20 which is incredible for a 1st grader. I didn’t say anything. One of the girls again asked, “Madison, what was your score?” Madison knew. We had told her about the “20” and that we were very proud of her. But she wouldn’t say it. She simply looked at me. So I said, “Madison’s a great reader”.

Madison is cute, sweet, smart, AND humble. She could have bragged, but she didn’t. She had ample opportunity to let them all know that SHE is the best reader. But instead, she showed love to her friends. Love? Yes, love. 1 Corinthians 13:4, “Love does not brag and is not arrogant”.

That’s what Jesus did. Jesus didn’t go around screaming, “I am the King of Kings. I’m the best. I’m number one. Bow down to me.” No, instead he demonstrated his love through humility...all the way to death on a cross.

Bragging does nothing but belittle others and make the braggart look silly. Humility is a character quality that God blesses greatly (James 4:6).

Just something to think about.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Who is your God? I don’t mean Allah or Yahweh or Jesus or the Spirit in the Sky. I mean, is your God good or bad? Kind or harsh? Encouraging or judgmental? Loving or looking for an opportunity to beat you up?

Jesus tells us that we can call God our “Father”. He even uses the word “Abba”, which means Daddy. That may seem strange to some, but it reveals the personal nature of God. Yes, we must honor Him as Holy and Almighty and Glorious, but we can also see him as “Daddy”. He is indeed powerful, but also “Daddy”.

The most powerful man on the planet is President Obama. He is also a dad. I remember reading some advice Jenna and Barbara Bush, daughters of President George W. Bush, gave to President Obama’s daughters:

“Our dad, like yours, is a man of great integrity and love; a man who always put us first. We still see him now as we did when we were seven: as our loving daddy. Our Dad, who read to us nightly, taught us how to score tedious baseball games. He is our father, not the sketch in a paper or part of a skit on TV. Many people will think they know him, but they have no idea how he felt the day you were born, the pride he felt on your first day of school, or how much you both love being his daughters. So here is our most important piece of advice: remember who your dad really is.”

(The Wall Street Journal, January 22, 2009)

What great advice. Great words for us to remember about our God and Who He really is: He is The Almighty God who loves us and is proud that we are His children. He delights in the little things in our lives, and He wants us to call Him “Daddy” because He doesn’t want us to lose that intimacy with Him.

I encourage you to reacquaint yourself with God, our Almighty and Loving Father.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

I could hear my daughter Madison calling out, “Mommy. Mommy”. Kristi was busy bathing the boys so I decided to help out. “Yes, Honey”, I answered. “No, Daddy. I’m calling Mommy, not you, because she knows the answer”. WELL, then...

If you had a question and you knew the person with the answer, wouldn’t it be foolish to go to a different person? Who would do that? I mean, I think I would want to go to the person with the answer. Isn’t that right or am I crazy? It sure makes sense to my 6-year old.

I believe God has the answers to all the questions life presents us. Do we really believe that? Of course. So why then would we not go to Him first, even before we gather the opinions of others? I am glad to have good friends who offer me wise counsel, but before that, I need time with God, asking, listening, and obeying.

Something God is teaching me in a big way right now is how to wait on Him. I can get in such a hurry to hear answers to my questions, that I, at times by-pass the very One who has the answer.

Here’s my challenge for you (and me). When you have a decision to make, direct your attention to God through prayer and His Bible first, then wait for His counsel. After that, seek the counsel and affirmation of others. God has the answers. Doesn’t He?

Need answers? Go FIRST to the One who has the answer. It makes since whether you are 6 or 46 (that’s me). God help me to wait on You!