The Chain Letter

Deuteronomy 18:10 There shall not be found among you anyone who burns his son or his daughter as an offering, anyone who practices divination or tells fortunes or interprets omens, or a sorcerer.

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The dreaded chain letter.  We all get them and we all know what they are. The oldest known example of chain letters comes from 1935—the “Prosperity Club” or “Send-a-Dime” letters. The recipients were to tape a dime to a dozen letters, including the sender of the original, and mail them. They would then supposedly receive a windfall of dimes in the mail as others followed suit.
The power behind chain letters is a superstitious fear that, if the chain is broken or the recipient does not obey its demands, something bad will happen. This superstition also promises supernatural blessing for obeying its instructions, as though God were selling cheap lottery tickets by mail or social media. Superstition is a form of witchcraft, as it attributes to inanimate objects or to the “Universe” a power and respect that belong to God alone (Micah 3:7; 5:12; Deuteronomy 18:10). Superstitious chain letters prey on the spiritually immature and uneducated. They also propagate a false view of God and His real blessings.
Today I received a chain letter that was darker than normal.  It started with “you are the most beautiful girl I know” then proceeded to tell me that “tomorrow two boys will say can I have you number.” Of course the next sentence told me that I needed to send this message to 15 other nice girls.  THEN CAME THE WHAT IF YOU DON’T send it threat, “I would have bad luck for a whole year.”  Now I thought it would be over after the threat, however it got worse.  Not only would I have bad luck for a year but the letter went on to say that if I broke the chain “I would see a little dead girl in my room tonight.”  What?!?!  I promise it said I would see a dead girl in my room.
Who in the world creates these chain letters?!?!?  And why do they write them?!?!?!  I guess I can understand “the attach a dime to a letter and mail it to me” letters but a dead girl in my room?  Come on people.  The worst part to me was that this letter was obviously going around to young girls.  I want you to know that the only thing we should really focus on are the promises of God, not some creepy chain letter threats.  God’s word is full of promises and they all come with obedience of what He ask us to do.  I promise he is not going to send you a chain letter as an action item.
Don’t worry about or participate in these crazy superstitious letters that come your way and for goodness sake, don’t forward them.  Talk to your kids about them and Christians stop sending them for goodness sake.  The next time you get one hit the delete button as soon as you see it and don’t dare forward it.

Grandchildren

Today’s Truth: However, be careful, and watch yourselves closely so that you don’t forget the things which you have seen with your own eyes. Don’t let them fade from your memory as long as you live. Teach them to your children and grandchildren. Deuteronomy 4:9 (GW)

From My Heart To Yours:

I am fortunate enough to be blessed with 3 grown children and 7 grandchildren. 4 of them live in the same town as I do, 1 lives 1 1/2 away in another town and the last one lives 2 hours away in a different town. We always try to find time for us to visit the grandkids or for them to visit us. Last week I kept the youngest grandchild, Bryson, who is almost 1-year-old, for 5 days. This weekend I have the other 6 grandchildren for 10 days. Whew I am tired just thinking about it.

The scripture for today is one that I try hard to remember and practice every time I am with my grandchildren. I really do love the Lord with all my heart, all my soul and all my mind and I want them to love Him as I do. Every time I am with them I try to find ways to add God into the conversation.

Over the next 10 days I plan to blog about my grandbabies, better known as gbabies, and tell you some of the creative ways we get to talk about God. I will also share with you things they tell me about God. This should be an interesting week of God talk. I am sure I will learn a few things from them about God that I did not know before and I can’t wait to share those with you too.

I have always known that I was blessed to have seen all my children grow up, get married and have children of their own but the scriptures talks about grandparents and grandchildren quite a bit.  God’s word describes blessing and gives instructions for grandparents.

Promises, Blessings and Instructions:

Grandchildren are the crown of the aged, and the glory of children is their fathers.  Proverbs 17:6 (ESV)   I feel like a Queen with my gbabies.  It is wonderful to see the smiles, the excitement and shrills when I visit.  To them you can never do any wrong.  They love you even if you discipline them.  They take everything to heart that you say and hang on every word you speak.  If you say it they believe it!

May you see your children’s children! Peace be upon Israel!  Psalm 128:6 (ESV) It’s a blessing if you get to see your children’s children yet with the blessing comes great responsibilities.  I think it funny when I see the gbabies displaying some of the same traits that their parents have.  Every says, “When I grow up and have kids I will never….”  When they grow up guess what?  They do what they said they would never do.  Now they understand why their parents did it in the first place.  It gives me great pride and joy to see that the gbabies really are a lot like their parents because they have great parents.

“And as for me, this is my covenant with them,” says the Lord: “My Spirit that is upon you, and my words that I have put in your mouth, shall not depart out of your mouth, or out of the mouth of your offspring, or out of the mouth of your children’s offspring,” says the Lord, “from this time forth and forevermore.” Isaiah 59:21 (ESV)  This scripture is a wonderful promise if we are telling our gbabies about God.  When I was a parent I was so busy working or cleaning or taking care of other things that I constantly stressed about everything.  Today’s culture is even more stressful for parents.  Because the parents are running here and running there, taking the kids to swim lessons, dance lesson and ball games they may not have the time to talk to the kids about God like we do as grandparents.  While our children, now parents themselves, are getting busier we, as grandparents, are slowing down.  Why do you think that is?  I think it is because with age comes wisdom.  We begin to see parenting differently.  We see life differently.  We see God differently.  We know as our life begins to slow down what things are most important in life.  God really becomes number one and a sense of urgency comes upon us to share that with those we love, to make a difference with the next generation.  Speak God’s words to your grandchildren, read them the bible, share stories of things he has done for you and their parents, tell them the bible stories in a way that they will remember them.  Speak the words to them so that will speak the words to their children and their grandchildren.

Honor widows who are truly widows. But if a widow has children or grandchildren, let them first learn to show godliness to their own household and to make some return to their parents, for this is pleasing in the sight of God. 1 Timothy 5:3-4 (ESV)This is a long gone tradition but one that needs to resurface.  I remember as a little child my great-grandmother lived with us.  Her hospital bed sat in the middle of our living room.  We helped my mother take care of all her needs from food to bathing.  I can still hear her telling us stories of the old days and things about my dad that we thought were funny and interesting.  We loved her so much and missed her dearly after she passed.  I am very proud of my parents.  They made huge sacrifices to take care of my great-mother.  I always thought my parents were great parents, and they were, but they were also being obedient to what God said they should do.  I want to instill this in my children and grandchildren as well.

You shall not bow down to them or serve them, for I the Lord your God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and the fourth generation of those who hate me, Exodus 20:5 (ESV)  We must remember that what we do will affect our children and grandchild down the road.  As my pastor husband says “Your children will be more like you than you can ever imagine”.  Parents have to be aware at all times that our personalities, our behaviors, our traditions, our opinions etc will pass on to our children.  These things will pass on to our children’s children and to the third and fourth generation.  I want to be responsible for passing on things that make a difference.  Things of God.

Let’s Pray:

Dear Lord, as parents, aunts and/or grandparents we know the long-term effects we can have on the little ones in our family.  Sometimes, we forget how important it is to make our conversations with them about you. Help us to remember to share our stories of blessings, the stories in the Bible and to encourage them to love you with all their heart, all their soul and all their minds. In Jesus Name. AMEN.

 

Can Christians Really Make A Difference In the World Or Is It Too Late?

The largest QOTSA headline crowd to date

Today’s Truth: Micah 6:8 You mortals, the Lord has told you what is good.  This is what the Lord requires from you:  to do what is right,  to love mercy,  and to live humbly with your God

From My Heart To Yours:

Can Christians really make a difference in the world or is it too late?  This question is one that is discussed in many pulpits and small group bible studies across America.  I believe there are a couple of different answers to the question.  First I believe yes we can make a difference.  We can make a difference in our own families, in our churches, in our communities and in our circle of Christian friends.  If you are a Christian, you know the Bible describes how the world will end.  The Bible tells us that as we get closer to the end of this world that sin will not get better, it will get worse.  True, however to me, that does not mean that we just lay down and prepare for death.  We still a responsibility to God while we are here.

I find the book of Micah to be a very interesting book of the Bible and I believe that it and this scripture reference for today can be used to answer the question, can Christians really make a difference in the world today.

Micah was a modern-day prophet for his time.  He was telling the people who God was a God of love but he was also a God of wrath.  The people were told that judgement was certain to come upon them if they did not heed His warnings about their blatant sins.  A lot of preachers and television evangelist today talk about promises and blessings for Christians but choose not to talk to about the sins we are committing.  Discussing sin is not popular now and it was not popular in Micah’s day either.

Micah was not the deliver of gloom and doom by talking about the sins of that day.  He told the people God loved them and provided hope that their relationship with God could be restored as it once was before.  He didn’t stop there though.  He gave them clear instructions on how to do it.  Micah 6:8 says, You mortals, the Lord has told you what is good.  This is what the Lord requires from you:  to do what is right,  to love mercy,  and to live humbly with your God.

God still requires these three things from Christians today just as He did in Micah’s day.  If every Christian would decide to follow this simple verse we could make a difference in this world and with all those we come in contact with.

….This is what the Lord requires from you:

1.  TO DO WHAT IS RIGHT –  We are to do what is right in our relationship with God. God is deserving of our heart, mind, body, and soul.  Jesus tells us (Mk. 12:28-30) that the first commandment is to “love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.” Because He created us in His own image, God rightly and justly deserves all of our worship and adoration. “This is the first commandment.”

We are also to do what is right and fair to our neighbor (to other people).  Not what is right and fair based on what man tells us but what is right and fair based on what God tells us. The world tells us to sue our neighbor, hate our neighbor, ignore our neighbor and the list goes on.  Jesus tells us (MK12:31) The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.”

2.  TO LOVE MERCY – You must show love and kindness. Some people are weaker than you are and some are poorer than you are. You should be kind to them and help them.  For most Christians this means giving money to the poor person standing on the side of the road or giving money to the homeless.  But mercy comes in many forms such as kindness, benevolence, and charity. Sometimes mercy is just being willing to forgive the sins of others as God is willing to forgive our sins.

3.  TO LIVE HUMBLY WITH GOD – You must walk (live) humbly with God. The first two instructions tell us how to treat each other. But this one is about our actions towards God.  We should agree with what God tells us in His Word and show Him that He is important to us through our word, actions and lives. We should do what God wants us to, no matter how easy or how hard it may be.

You can not do the first two if you do not have a good relationship with God.  You must love him, trust him, depend on him and obey him.  With him all things are possible. Without him one and two will be impossible.

Can Christians really make a difference in the world?  Again I say yes.  Won’t you do your part?  Start today by deciding to focus on you and your family and then challenge and inspire other Christians to do the same.

Let’s Pray: 

Dear Lord, we know that in the times we live in today it is hard to stand for right.  Sometimes we become discouraged, want to give up trying to do right.  Sometimes we are convinced  that we can not make a difference because we are just one person or one family.  But Lord we know you are still the same God today as you were in Micah’s day.  Thank you for your promise of forgiveness through salvation and for the mercy and grace you give to us each day.  Help us to do what is right, to love mercy and to live humbly with you.  In Jesus Name. AMEN.