Character

Summer is my time off….from school that is….I am a teacher.  My summers begin very industrially…cleaning out dusty, over filled closets, reorganizing kitchen cabinets, sprucing up long neglected flower beds and a myriad of other “catch ups” that are on my list!

Then when the dust settles, I am left with true relaxation and reflection.  I enjoy these days, but honestly, it’s difficult for me to completely slow down.  But when I do…it’s much needed.

I love reflection, because it causes me to not only think of the past, but to look forward to how that past impacts the future.  One thing that is forever in the forefront of my mind, is my children. Circumstances cause me to think of how we raised them….did we instill in them the love of Christ?  Did we spend time with them teaching them how to treat others?  Did we teach them that character is so very important, and most importantly, did we model that?

Billy Graham once said, “Integrity is the glue that holds our way of life together.  We must constantly strive to keep our integrity intact. When wealth is lost, nothing is lost. When health is lost, something is lost. When character is lost, all is lost.”

Mary Southerland said “Integrity is what you do when no one is watching or that character is best illustrated by how you treat people who can do absolutely nothing for you.”

We pray that our children show the character of Christ as they live out their lives to please Him only.

1 Chronicles 28:9b “For the Lord searches the heart, and understands every desire and every thought.”

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Unanswered Questions

I never like to be left in the dark……meaning…I always want to know the answers.  Knowing the answers of why things happen helps me to process  and work through things in my life.  If I feel there are things that are kept from me…I feel uneasy…and most often I am relentless at finding those answers.

But life doesn’t always provide answers in all situations.  It can be frustrating and discouraging.  As a Christian, I have been taught that there are some things that we have to just leave in God’s hands.  I have been told that there are some things that God won’t reveal to us this side of Heaven.  And I’m ok with that……because I know that eventually I will have closure or know the reasons behind things that have happened in this life.

I read something recently that said, “Nothing touches our lives without God’s permission”.  Suffering, death, loss and sorrow all are very apparent to God well before they touch our lives.  He allows it.  He knows the ultimate outcome of those experiences in our lives.  He sees the bigger picture.

I Peter 1:7 “These trials will show that your faith is genuine. It is being tested as fire tests and purifies gold–though your faith is far more precious than mere gold. So when your faith remains strong through many trials, it will bring you much praise and glory and honor on the day when Jesus Christ is revealed to the whole world.

Knowing this helps me to weather the storms of this life.  Knowing that God knew, way before I knew and He decided to let it happen for my good.

I have a brother.  He’s pretty awesome.  His demeanor is that of a quiet spoken, kind hearted, God loving man.  Cancer is ravaging his body and he is weathering a pretty ominous storm.  Recently he was describing walking with the Lord in the morning and praying.  He said that he felt so close to God, that he could reach out and touch him.  I loved that!  We should be so close to our Savior that during the storms in our lives, we can almost reach out and touch him.  siblings More