Quarterly Journals
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He Comes To Us – In SpiteĀ Of Us

God is always doing something good in our lives. He answers our prayers. He bails us out, again and again. Then the next time a problem comes up, we act like God’s miracle never happened. How quickly we forget! When we can’t remember past blessings, we start fearing the future. We stop thinking that God can do it again, because we forget that He did it the first time. Spiritual vision is essential in the life of a Christian. Without clear vision, you lose hope. When you can’t see your way clearly it means you’ve lost your vision. We can hope back by seeing our lives from God’s eternal perspective.

This is the Gospel – that God doesn’t stand on the shoreline telling us what to do. He comes out to meet us where we are – in our pain – in our fears – in our discouragement. In spite of us – He comes to us!

“Then he saw them straining at rowing, for the wind was against them. Now about the fourth watch of the night He came to them, walking on the sea and would have passed them by.” – Matthew 6:48 NKJV

 

Submitted by Deaconess Irene Gardon



Christ Jesus: Our Moral Compass

One generation shall commend your works to another, and shall declare your mighty acts.” – Psalm 145:4
 
Not too long ago, like so many times before, we were out together for a meal, and I realized that we had every unit of the family in tow. It was me, my husband, my son, his wife and their three children, my daughter-in-law’s sister, my sister, her daughter, and her son. All together we had father, mother, sister, brother, aunt, nephew, grandmother, grandfather, cousin, and so on. I really didn’t think about it until the next day, when I was thinking how intricately God made the family, and how interdependent we are on one another. Every family has the same make-up, and I am encouraged when I think about what God had in mind when He made the family.
 
Every family has its own traditions; those things that are established in and by the family and set forth as the standard. They are born out of our experiences, as we interact, and they set the tone for the way we live. I think that our moral compass comes from how we’re raised, and that it is reflective of whom we come from. One day while leaving my office, on my way home from work, I noticed a piece of banana, on the sidewalk, dropped perhaps, by someone along the way. But I wondered why they didn’t stop and pick it up. Just a few feet away was a garbage can; but guess what? About an inch or two from the garbage can lay the banana peel. You think maybe they just missed the can when trying to throw it in? Hum, wonder.
 
Another time on my way to Church, driving behind someone who stopped at the stop sign, they threw their garbage out of the window, and kept going. How had these people been raised? Where was their moral compass? What had they been taught about respect, or another people’s property? I believe that as you sit around your mother’s table; or ride in the front seat of your daddy’s car; or spend the night at grandma’s house; or summer vacations with your cousins, all of these are situations that breed into us a sense of who we are, where we come from, and how we ought to live. I believe that the family unit is the training ground, and university for our matriculation. It’s the thread of who we are, how we began, and the conviction of who we be. It is the mandate of how we will end. I learned how to make a sweet potato pie from my mom. I learned how to walk into a room with my head up from my dad. I am learning compassion from my sister. I am teaching my daughter how to be submissive to her husband, and my son how to love his wife. I am learning to respect the authority of my husband from the Word of God. I learned devotion to Christ from my grandmother. I learned contentment from my mother’s father. And I experienced how to love unconditionally from my Uncle Rufus.
 
There is so much more to learn, and even more that I want to be able to share. Through Christ, the traditions in my family have made me who I am and given me a connection to Him. He has taught me that I can endure. He has taught me that family traditions are more than just empty rituals. Every household is different, but every family the same: created in Christ Jesus. What we teach, and what we learn in our families ought to reflect what we know about Him.

 

Submitted by Deaconess Irene Gardon