Beth just left on a hot date. Hot because she’s still running fever. She still isn’t feeling very good. And I am fixing to start painting a bathroom. Yuck.
This little cat still cracks me up.
The weather is still cloudy and a little rainy today. It really stormed during the night. The same system that caused several tornadoes in the Fort Worth area, came through here early this morning. The thunder was terrible – you couldn’t sleep through it. But it’s really cool out there right now, and very windy.
I sat outside in the swing for a very long time last night/early this morning. Two cats joined me. It was lightly misting, but not even enough to get me wet, except for the occasional cascades of water from the trees when the wind would blow. It’s so quiet and peaceful out there. It allows lots of time for prayer and thinking. That’s my spot for doing those things. I was distracted for a little while, though, by 2 possums that like to come up on our front porch and eat cat food. When they saw me, I talked to them a little, and assured them they were in no danger. They run around the neighborhood just like the dogs that get loose. The biggest one crossed the street, and took off down the sidewalk.
Steve went down to the church. He and Mark had a load of shell dumped in our driveways yesterday. Today they were going to rent a tractor to spread it all. This is not the best day to be doing a job like this, but it has to be done in order for people to get into the parking lots tomorrow.
Please pray for Mark. His oldest daughter left for Minnesota today to live with an aunt for a while. More and more is coming out about her behavior over the last year or so. He found out this week that she has actually been doing some drugs for about a year. He had already found out she was currying drugs for friends at school, but he didn’t know she was actually taking them. Her mother is an addict, and he has tried so hard to teach the kids the right way to live. He’s a former addict, but has turned his life around, and is one of the best people you could ever hope to meet. He adopted his wife’s 2 daughers, and his son lives with them, too.
Bethany has been trying to help Ash….going places and doing things with her. She really looks up to Beth and Mark wants her to be like Beth. But Beth was just being used as a way to get out of the house when she was grounded. And Beth told her she knew that. She also told her she knew she was still lying to her dad, and sneaking around.
It has been so tough to minister to this family. We love them dearly, but they are extremely permissive when it comes to their kids. But they don’t think they are. Any advice we give is not listened to, but when there is a problem, such as the current one, we are the ones they come to. They so highly admire Bethany, but they seem to think she turned out the way she is, just by chance. Because she’s just a “good girl”. They don’t really give any thought to the fact that she was raised to turn out the way she has.
It just makes sense to me that if you want your daughter to turn out like another young woman at church, then listen to the advice of the ones who raised her. Or listen to the pastor. Or listen to the youth and music minister and his wife. They’ve successfully raised kids, too. Silly me, I guess. Maybe I’m missing something here.
It’s kind of like when we have a problem, and we cry to God about it. He says, “Here’s how you fix it.” And we humans say, “But God….I don’t really want to do that!” So we suffer, because we don’t do what God says. God won’t make us do right. But He also won’t protect us from the consequences when we know right from wrong….and choose wrong.
It is so hard to see someone you love dearly, suffer because they make the wrong choices. And you tell them, “Here…right here….this is what God says to do about it.” And they don’t do what God says. So they suffer. But you love them dearly anyway. And you want to beg them to listen, but they don’t. And it hurts so bad.
God knows what that hurt is like. He feels it all the time, when the people He loves reject Him and don’t obey Him.
We see a lot of people these days, mimicking those they want to be like. But it is usually in a direction away from God, not toward God.
So, Friday a week ago, when we stayed late after the Bible Study talking, I realized they were going to need to hit rock bottom before they would listen. So that’s what I’ve been praying for, but only if that was God’s will. Sometimes really bad things happen to Christians. God doesn’t want them to happen, but He will allow things to happen if they are necessary to bring about a change.
The thing I disagree with in this situation today, is allowing her to move to Minnesota to live with her aunt. We know the aunt. This is not really a better situation than living at home. This is exactly what Ash wanted….to live with her aunt. And Mark had already told her no….no way was she going to move to Minnesota. He swore he would not let her. This aunt is extremely permissive. In fact, Ash can get anything she wants from this aunt. So guess what she got? Exactly what she had wanted in the first place.
Ash was not only doing drugs, but was hanging out behind her place of employment with a guy in his 30’s. She was flirting big time with him. SHE’S 15 YEARS OLD!! That was not going to lead to anything good.
This same extended family has another problem teen. We’ve all tried to intervene in her life, but she refuses to change. She’s into drugs, sex, you name it….also at 15 years old. She lives with her grandmother, Mark’s mom, and grandma has given up on her. She told me Sunday that she is “turning her back” on her. She lets her do whatever she wants now. She even let her go on an out of state trip with a young man back at New Year’s, that our pastor strongly advised her not to let her go on. This girl’s mom now lives in a gated community in Texas, for the 4th time. This time it’s a weapons charge.
Bethany is upset. She loves Ash. She wanted one last chance to talk to her before she left, but her plane left at 1:00.
My heart really hurts for these friends. But until they are willing to open their eyes, and see everything that is going on, things will not change. They need to see the mistakes they are making. No parent is perfect – we all make mistakes, but there are some glaring ones here.
On another different, but related note….I’ve been reading some of the MySpace blogs of some of the young people at church (not part of the aforementioned family). Most of these are not children…they are young adults in the 19-26 age range. Some of them are even married, with children. (And before anybody thinks I shouldn’t look at their blogs, if they aren’t private, they are fair game.) These are all blogs of one large, extended family.
My first thought was, “My gosh…do you really want ALL that out there on the internet for everybody to see?” They aren’t worried about church leaders seeing it, or thinking anything about it. But they should be worried about future employers. It has become common now for employers to check out such sites to learn the character of a possible hire. And many lose out because of it.
Their families are full of divorce, abandonment of children, cheating on spouses, child abuse, drug and alcohol abuse, out-of-wedlock babies, unemployment, mental problems, and the list goes on. They do not understand why so many problems befall them. They whine about all their difficulties in the family.
And the reasons are as plain as the noses on their faces. Yet they are blind.
Things could and would turn around for them if they would just do what God says to do – if they would just take the first step. He would bless immensely, if they would just trust. But trust and obedience is not fun. Not when it isn’t what you want to be doing. (I have to add that most of them are not at church all that often anymore.)
What they cannot see – the blessing that is hidden – is that when you begin to take the right steps, your wants and desires change. If they don’t step out and trust, they will never see that blessing.
Matt 6:33……33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.
Ps 37:4……4 Delight yourself in the LORD
and he will give you the desires of your heart.
Rev 3:17-18……17 You say, ‘I am rich; I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing.’ But you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked . 18 I counsel you to buy from me gold refined in the fire, so you can become rich; and white clothes to wear, so you can cover your shameful nakedness; and salve to put on your eyes, so you can see.
A family, if not raised according to God’s instructions, will have problems for many generations, and we are seeing that.
Ex 20:5-6…..I bring punishment on those who hate me and on their descendants down to the third and fourth generation. 6 But I show my love to thousands of generations of those who love me and obey my laws.
I have seen this referred to as a generational curse, and that even Christians who love God, still have this curse in their family from generations past – and it must be broken. That is a misunderstanding of what scripture actually says. God says He brings the punishment on the succeeding generations “of those who hate me.” But then He says he shows love to thousands of generations “of those who love me.” At any time during those generations, somebody accepts Christ and loves God, then that “punishment”automatically ended for them.
2 Cor 5:17……17 Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.
See that? If you love God, accept Jesus, and obey, everything is made brand new! All the old is passed away. You get to start over!
Have you seen a family whose patriarch or matriarch did bad things, and suffered for it? Say they were heavily into drugs. Their kids learn the same behavior, and suffer the same consequences as the parent – for many generations to come – unless that chain is broken. Your actions always affect other people. So how can it be broken? By accepting Jesus, and obeying Him. That means they would have to stop their illegal behavior. Then God would begin to bless them. But at any time, if someone choses not to obey God, they will not be blessed. Each person – each generation – can change that for themselves.
So God lavishes His love on thousands of generations of those who love Him. Who loves Him? Those who keep His commandments.
15 “If you love Me , you will keep My commandments
Simple as that. I didn’t say easy….I said simple.