THE CHRISTIAN WALK

Lip Service? No Thanks


This week’s conversations have stopped me in my tracks because of the life’s reality.

First an acquaintance shared how they have not been paid for over six months and the approved budget from head office has an allocation for the coming months but nothing for the past ones. How now? Chatting with one of my young people I learnt that their parents have been downsized or have reduced hours and the family of five is trying to live less than I spend of vegetables. The final conversation was with someone who still has regular hours but has had a thirty five percent cut in their regular pay.

Question: how do these families afford to live? I do not know!!

Our current interventions are focused more on the adults, but the youth and children are in the middle of the fight of their life. Many of our younger folk have fewer skills for this season than the adults. Many adults have had to change direction and adjust but most of the young ones have never had to. We have trained them to expect a set action produces set outcomes from life, specific responses to set actions, yet now that isn’t working.

I finally paid attention when I heard one of my young ones ask how they would get something to eat every day. He was asking about the whole family, not just himself. He also mentioned seeing many of his peers become atheists because God has ‘failed’ them.

There was young girl on BBC the other day, talking about how life has changed. They still try to study together to keep on track but it is hard without the input of teachers and access to enough books. It is also hard to study because of the amount of housework they need to do every day. Another one said the pressure to keep reading at full steam even though their exams are moved to next year is tiring.

It is harder for the young ones than we think.

Could we do better to help them deal with the current situation and life in general? Have we sat together to talk about life in true colour? Have we shared the challenges we go through daily? Have we shown them how to adjust to the unexpected or to deepen their walk using meditation and processing? Have we taught them to think deeply and find solutions or are they waiting for directions from us?

On the other hand, could it be that many adults don’t even know how to adjust for changes or even prepare for the unexpected? Maybe we are the ones who need to re-calibrate first before our children and young people can learn to re-calibrate. I challenge you to dig deep and ask questions like, What is your strategy? What is your pattern of responding to life? Do you panic and pretend to be more than you are? Are you able to honestly say what is going on? Are you driven to hide the struggle by shame? Are you confident in God to make a way or are you doing it on your own?

The starting point is provided for us in Deuteronomy 11:18-20 

18 “Therefore you shall [a]lay up these words of mine in your heart and in your soul, and bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. 19 You shall teach them to your children, speaking of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up. 20 And you shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates,

This is an echo of Joshua 1:8-9…

This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you[a] shall meditate in it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success. 

Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”

We cannot teach something we are not.

God calls us to trust Him no matter the circumstance and to believe that everything will work out no matter what. Indeed, it was easier before, but God still remains the only hope and He will get us all through no matter how it looks.

If we haven’t learnt to lean into God, how do we teach our children to do the same? If I don’t believe He can move the mountain and walk with us, can I teach the children? How do I expect them to believe if my life is not proof of my walk with God? The proof is in the pudding, and the pudding in this case is the reality of walking with God in my life. It is in a shift in my behaviour, attitude, beliefs, responses. It is the clarity of how I deal with them and lead them into deep relationship with God as I make a difference in the marketplace where I am positioned.

Unless they see me live out the word with confidence, they won’t believe it is possible or even possible. If I do not teach and showcase meditation on the word and application, I cannot expect them to do the same. If we do not meditate and keep the word in sight, how can we be strong and of good courage? How are we unafraid or not dismayed if our hope is not grounded in God?

Lip service does not work with our children.

It is no longer enough to say you love God and follow Him. It is no longer enough to live a wishy-washy life. It is no longer possible to fake your faith as you stay with your children in close quarters. They see your reality. They see your faith or lack thereof. They understand the truth of who you are and will question it. They will see how you deal with people and follow suit. They will understand the truth of your life and work or the lack thereof.

This season is about deliberate action, deliberate connection, deliberate devotion and commitment. It is about living out our beliefs and values. It is about honest conversations and examples. Stop and have that conversation with the children and young people in your home and around you. Take time to share your life’s truth and the things that keep you on track.

It is time to be bare and brutal with the truth of life, that will allow them to thrive from today onwards.

Shalom.

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THE CHRISTIAN WALK, The Simple Life

Here’s Every Blessing For You in 2015


2014 was an amazing year and ended on a high. On 13th October 2014 I wrote a blog about Judy Niemeyer and a tribute to her life. On December 28th 2014, we had a farewell event from her as she goes home. It was really a celebration of life and love with God and in God and God at work through her. It was colourful and alive with sights and sounds. It was warm, fun and worth every bit of energy and emotion put into it. Oh, there were over 400 people including children and adults.

The theme of the event was Life. Vibrant life is beautiful, a sweet aroma, colourful, enjoyable, full of joy, hope, laughter and even tears. To depict this, we chose the following colours:

  • Lime green – representing freshness, resting in the Lord and eternal life
  • Orange – representing a relationship and companionship with God
  • Yellow – representing Sonshine, sunshine and joy

larry blessing 10The greatest part of the event was a series of blessings pronounced on everyone by Larry based on age. It was really nice. Can you remember the last time an elder laid a hand on you and blessed you? I can and this event reminded me just how important these connections are. Everyone was asked to stand when their respective age group was called. The other interesting thing is that as the age groups got higher in number, fewer people stood. Meaning that the team in attendance was young and it reminded me that no matter how young or old we are we can impact people across all ages. The largest age groups were the thirties and forties.

Below are the blessings by age group so that each of us will connect to something new this year. Read, receive and hold fast to the blessing for your age group for 2015 and the rest of your life.

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Psalm 119:

“Your word, O Lord, is eternal; it stands firm in the heavens. Your faithfulness continues through all generations; you established the earth and it endures” (119:89-90, NIV).

  1. Children and Youth (0-19)larry blessings 1

“How can the young keep their way pure? By living according to God’s revelation” (Larry’s version 119:9).

The pure way is God’s design for your lives. There is nothing better for your life than that design.

Do all you can to keep that original design. May your parents, siblings, extended family, neighbours, teachers, friends, and church help you live according to God’s revelation.

Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good. His love endures forever.

 

larry blesssing 72. The Teachable Twenties

“Open my eyes that I may see wonderful things in your revelation” (119:18).

By this time you have come to know many things about human life.

Each year you have accumulated more knowledge about that life. And now, you still want to know more.

Above all else, however, we would want you to seek the knowledge of God’s LIFE in Christ.

So keep your eyes open to that knowledge revealed in God’s word.

Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good. His love endures forever.

 

3. The Tireless Thirties

“I run in the path of your revelation for you have set my heart free (119:32, my version).

These are bold, busy, searching, energetic years for you. 

In all your activity in the pursuit of the things of human life –family, children, jobs, careers, relationships, travel, gadgets – our prayer for you is that you will be eager for the things of God.larry blessing 4

Don’t let the things of human life entangle you. Enjoy hearts set free in Christ.

Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good. His love endures forever.

 

4. The Fiery Forties

“Let your compassion come to me that I may live, for your revelation is my delight” (119:77).

These are the years of one’s passions. You have learned to stay on long after others have given up.

You have refused to leave well enough alone.

You have chosen those things that deserve nothing less than the best you can imagine. 

You have begun to give your best to something you care about and you have begun to ask others to do the same.

During these fired up times, may you see that human passion works best when wedded to the compassion of God’s LIFE and that compassion is what God’s revelation reveals.

Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good. His love endures forever.

larry blessing 75. The Forceful Fifties

“I am always ready to risk my life; I have not forgotten your revelation (119:109).

To be forceful is to be daring, powerful, strong, dynamic, influential, persuasive, and convincing.

You have probably been tempted to exert these attributes in previous decades and you may have missed out on teachable qualities in your twenties, priorities in your thirties, and even the passions of the forties. 

But these attributes come best to you in your fifties when lessons, choices, and passions have matured.

So our prayer is that you will be forceful in godly ways, letting God’s LIFE settle into the inner workings of your life.  

Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good. His love endures forever.

6. The Sacred Sixties

“I have more insight than all my teachers and more understanding than the elders, for I meditate on and obey your revelation” (119:100-101, my version).

This is your time to reflect, remember, and recall – to contemplate, meditate and deliberate. 

It is a time to finish up a life work, to turn things over to others, to compile memories, lessons, and instructions.

May all such activities have a sacred cast to them for you as you trace God’s LIFE in and through your life.

May you provide memories and reminders to those who follow you.larry blessing 8

Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good. His love endures forever.

7. The Significant Seventies and Eighties

“Long ago I learned from your revelation that you established them to last forever” (119:152).

These are the decades when you begin to look at your life in decades, not years and months.

You’re happy if you can remember which decade some event happened.

But you also begin to make a big distinction between that which lasts forever and that which does not.

That’s what makes the decades significant and the decisions substantial.

May God give you clear sight on his vision, his dream, and his plan.

May he prompt you to point all the younger generations to the same. 

Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good. His love endures forever.

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Shalom and many blessings in 2015

larry blessing 6 larry blessing 11 larry blessing 5 larry blessing 7

Shalom and many blessings in 2014