Friday, August 20, 2010

Mean Mom

I am a mean mom. No doubt about it. I enforce bed times. I make my kids eat what I serve for dinner, even vegetables. My kids have chores, and they don't receive an allowance for them. Just as I make their dinner for "free," the chores they do around the house come from being a member of our family, not as a service for pay.

I am a mean mom. I say "no" when they want to eat too much candy, or see a movie that they think would be fine, but I deem inappropriate. I make them go to church every Sunday, unless they're sick, when sometimes they'd rather sleep in or have a PJ day. I make my oldest practice her piano, and they both have to clean up their rooms.

Oh, I do nice things too. I make them special breakfast in bed sometimes, just because. I might let them stay up late occasionally for a movie night. But those things are quickly forgotten when I do the "mean" things. The truth is, the reason I enforce the "mean" things is not because I am mean, but because I love them and want the best for them.

Sometimes it's hard for us to know what God has in store for our lives. When He tells us no to the things we want, we may not see the bigger picture, we only know that he is being "mean" to us. God may "push" us to do things we don't want to do, and we will have consequences when we disobey. This may lead some to think that God is mean.

The truth is, just as when I'm a "mean mom," when God does something we think is "mean," I'm certain He is doing it because He loves us and wants what is best for us. But because we are children, His children, we can't always see the bigger picture. We just have to trust Him, like I hope my children trust me.

I'm really not mean. And neither is God. We both just love our children too much to leave them as they are. We want to teach them. We want them to grow up and be strong. My children know how much I love them. Just like I know how much God loves us.

My son, do not despise the LORD's discipline and do not resent his rebuke, because the LORD disciplines those he loves, as a father the son he delights in. Proverbs 3:11,12

Chatty Kelly

Monday, August 16, 2010

You've Got a Friend

When your down and troubled And you need a helping hand,
And nothing, whoa nothing is going right.
Close your eyes and think of me And soon I will be there
To brighten up even your darkest nights.
You just call out my name, And you know where ever I am
I'll come running, oh yeah baby To see you again.
Winter, spring , summer, or fall,All you have to do is call
And I'll be there, yeah, yeah, yeah. You've got a friend.
You've Got A Friend, James Taylor, 1971

I love this song by James Taylor. Truth is, I could have put the entire song here, and referenced every word as if they were coming from Jesus. He is our friend.

There are so many Christian songs that make this point. What a Friend We Have in Jesus and Redeemer, Savior, Friend are two that readily come to mind.

I love to think of Jesus as a friend. A friend is someone who knows you inside and out, and likes you anyway. I love the lyric in Redeemer, Savior, Friend that says "He's familiar with my weakness, devoted to the end." In other words, Jesus loves us even while we are still sinners!

In the James Taylor song, we hear "Winter, spring, summer or fall, all you have to do it call." Jesus is always there for us, all we have to do is call out his name, and he'll come running. He illustrates this for us in the prodigal son parable. The young man left his family, but as he returns home to ask forgiveness, his Father runs out to meet him, while he was still far away.

Just like that Bible story, Jesus is there to run out to meet us when we are far away. John 15:14, 15 states, "You are my friends if you do what I command. I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master's business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you." Winter, spring, summer or fall, all we have to do is call, and He'll be there. We've got a friend!

Musical Musings:
1. How do you feel differently thinking about Jesus as a friend, versus as a judge? Why is friend more likely to give us a second chance?
2. Think of all the qualities of a best friend. Realize that Jesus loves you more than any human friend could.
3. Do you believe Jesus is always just a "call" away? Why or why not?

Dear Lord - thank you for being my friend! Thank you for knowing me, and for loving me in spite of everything you know. Help me to be a better friend to my friends and to let them see you through me. In Jesus Name, Amen.

Rock on:
Read the story of the prodigal son in Luke 15:11-32.

You've Got a Friend video:

Chatty Kelly