Would You Throw the LifeSaver?

A person is walking along the banks of a large lake. As he does he happens to see a man who looks as if he is swimming in the water. However upon closer inspection the man walking sees that something is not right about how the swimmer is behaving. He is splashing a lot. Every few seconds he sinks under the water for longer periods of time and splashes back up to the surface only long enough to take a quick breath and sputter.

The walker just happens to have a lifesaver in his hands. He starts to throw it to the swimmer but then he hesitates.

Should I throw this to him? What if he gets upset at me?

You know he might think I’m suggesting he doesn’t know how to swim.

Will it offend him for me to throw this lifesaver out to him?

I wouldn’t want him to feel bad for being a terrible swimmer.

You know I think I will play it safe and watch him a minute before I throw it just to be sure he needs help.

I’m not a lifeguard. Maybe I should call a lifeguard to come get him out. Hmmm… There doesn’t seem to be any around here.

“Hold on, Mister! I’m calling a lifeguard for you!”

Meanwhile the swimmer goes under and the opportunity to save him is lost.

Unsinkable

The above story probably sounds a bit absurd.

“Just throw the lifesaver already!” you’re probably saying.

And yet the above scene is what a lot of us do everyday.

We hear people complain about those who have thrown lifesavers out. They say things like, “Why doesn’t everyone just leave me alone?”

“I’m not interested in what you have to say.”

“Mind your own business. I don’t want to hear it.”

“You live life your way and I’ll live life my way.”

To us it sounds like they are saying, “Just keep that lifesaver to yourself. I enjoy splashing in this water of life.”

However if we see them struggling and yet don’t throw the lifesaver to them, we are to blame for their drowning.

On the other hand, if we throw the lifesaver to them despite the fear that they might reject it, we  give them that opportunity to grab on or not. We have done our part.

The rest is up to them. We are not responsible for their decision to hold on or let go.

Again the word of the LORD came to me, saying,

“Son of man, speak to the children of your people, and say to them: ‘When I bring the sword upon a land, and the people of the land take a man from their territory and make him their watchman,’

‘when he sees the sword coming upon the land, if he blows the trumpet and warns the people,  then whoever hears the sound of the trumpet and does not take warning, if the sword comes and takes him away, his blood shall be on his own head. He heard the sound of the trumpet, but did not take warning; his blood shall be upon himself. But he who takes warning will save his life.’

‘But if the watchman sees the sword coming and does not blow the trumpet, and the people are not warned, and the sword comes and takes any person from among them, he is taken away in his iniquity; but his blood I will require at the watchman’s hand.’

“So you, son of man: I have made you a watchman for the house of Israel; therefore you shall hear a word from My mouth and warn them for Me. When I say to the wicked, ‘O wicked man, you shall surely die!’ and you do not speak to warn the wicked from his way, that wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood I will require at your hand.

“Nevertheless if you warn the wicked to turn from his way, and he does not turn from his way, he shall die in his iniquity; but you have delivered your soul.”

~~Ezekiel 33:1-9 NKJV

Here I am throwing the LifeSaver to you.

I know what it is like splashing around trying to get out of the water. I couldn’t reach the shore alone either.

Someone threw me the LifeSaver. They didn’t wait to see whether or not I wanted it. They threw it out there for me. I chose to accept it.

Now I’m offering it to you.

God has the strength to pull you to the shore and change your life completely.

Will you let Him? 

If you have already accepted God’s LifeSaver and are wearing His Life Jacket please share your life changing story with us in the comments.

In my next post I will share with you the story of how I was saved from drowning. Literally and figuratively. Be sure to check back later this week for that. Until then…

Who will you throw the LifeSaver to today?

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Choose Wisely

I really wanted to get a blog post finished this week. Perhaps doing a quick Five Minute Friday post with Lisa-Jo Baker would help me get out of this horrible case of writer’s block. So here we go. The rules: Write for 5 minutes flat. No editing. No overthinking. Just write. Then link up and encourage the blogger in front of you. Today’s word: Choose.

I’m setting my timer and …

HannahBasketball

Go!

Today I am choosing to do Five Minute Friday. I haven’t blogged in so long. This month was so busy and I chose to take my daughter every Friday to her basketball practice. Then I chose to attend her basketball games with the whole family. We loved watching her play. With a family of 8 you always have a large cheering section.

In basketball my daughter wanted her friends to choose to throw the ball to her. Sometimes she was chosen and sometimes they chose to throw it to someone else. No matter who was chosen she still got excited whenever they scored.

I want my children to make good choices in life. I want them to choose to follow God. Right now my husband and I make the decisions for them but one day they will be on their own and I hope they choose to do what is right even when we, their parents are no longer watching them. I need to teach them now so that they are prepared for that day. I want them to choose wisely.

Stop.

Ooh… This was good for me. This helped open my mind and unlock the writer’s block.

So if you will bear with me I’ll continue my above thought a little bit further. :)

I have been wanting to write about friendship. But every time I tried it seemed to just fall flat. Now I know what it is I’ve been wanting to say.

I want my children to choose their friends wisely.

How do you choose your friends? Friendship doesn’t just happen.

“A man that hath friends must shew himself friendly: and there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother.

                                             — Proverbs 18:24 KJV

You have a choice. Who will you lead? Who will you follow? Who will you defend? Whose team will you choose to be on?

“Two are better than one; because they have a good reward for their labour. For if they fall, the one will lift up his fellow: but woe to him that is alone when he falleth; for he hath not another to help him up.

                                       –Ecclesiastes 4:9-10 KJV

Will your friends lift you up when you fall? Are you willing to help them up?

“Thine own friend, and thy father’s friend, forsake not; neither go into thy brother’s house in the day of thy calamity: for better is a neighbour that is near than a brother far off.

                                                        –Proverbs 27:10 KJV

With whom will you choose to be friends?

Five Minute Friday

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Dear Children: A Letter from a Mom

I am writing this letter to my children. Perhaps your children might benefit too.

kidsread

Dear Children,

As your parents, we want you to know that we really do understand.
Your father and I have been in your shoes before. We grew up in different homes and under different circumstances. Those differences in our raising helps us to better know what challenges you face today and in the future.

God expects you to honor and obey us even though we are not perfect. Learn from our mistakes. Be respectful even when… especially when you disagree with us.

Not all children have godly parents. They need good examples to watch how a family should be. You may one day be a mentor that a child will look up to. Set a good example of love and respect. You never know who is watching your life and wanting to be like you.

“Children, obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right. Honour thy father and mother; (which is the first commandment with promise;) That it may be well with thee, and thou mayest live long on the earth.”

– Ephesians 6:1-3 KJV

The Bible says to honor your parents. Give us the respect God intended you to give.

Listen to the wisdom from our years of experience. Listen as we share what God has given us to share.

Be obedient children. If you obey, life will go much better for you. You will be learning from us and will not have to make the same mistakes we have made.

You will one day soon be embarking on your own life and adventures. Soon it will be up to you to make your own decisions. You will not be able to blame your father and I for what choices you will make. It will ultimately be up to you what you do with the rest of your life.

It is hard on us as parents to see you feel bad. When you realize you are weak in an area, we have trouble pointing out what you need to work on. We want you to know right now, we love you and only want you to be the best you can be. You should strive for your highest potential.

It is okay to feel bad about the things you do wrong. We don’t always have to feel good about ourselves. We need to feel guilty at times. How else will we know we need help if we never allow ourselves to feel how terrible our mistakes are?

God can give us the ultimate help and greatest relief from our pain. If we never feel bad, we will never strive to be better. We all need to do better.

This does not mean to drag yourself in the dirt and be depressed. No. I’m saying to realize your weaknesses. Make the necessary improvements. If you do, you will be a stronger and wiser person.

There is a place for humility. It is very easy to be proud of ourselves and of our accomplishments. It is a difficult thing to remain humble. People appreciate a humble spirit.

Be willing to put others before yourself. Be slow to brag on your own accomplishments. Be quick to praise other’s accomplishments. That is what it means to be humble. It is okay to realize you are doing well. No matter how old you are I will always love you to call me to tell me everything that you have done. I am and always will be proud of you.

Treat people the way you would want to be treated, even if they do not treat you the same way in return.

God knows your heart. Pray to him. Tell Him your regrets and fears. He is always there to listen and help.

Always remember that God loves you. He will always be there for you even if your father and I can’t. God is always ready and waiting for you to call on Him. Just as I say that I’m just a phone call away. God is even closer. He is just a prayer away. You don’t have to get your phone out and dial a number for Him. All you have to do is speak and He is right there with you to listen and help.

I have so much more to teach you. I’m very thankful that God gave you to me. I am very proud of you. I love you!

Love,

Mommy

If you could write a letter to your children or grandchildren what would you write? If you have a blog consider writing a letter to your own children. If you do please share the link with us in the comments. I would love to read what you have to say.

This is Day 24 of 31 Days Building Commitment. Only 7 days to go in this series. If you want to see a basic outline of where this series is going check out my book “Don’t Quit: Build a Legacy of Commitment“.

Tomorrow I will take a break to tell about our Jonathan’s Birthday.  Breaks like that won’t count in the series they will simply be added bonuses sprinkled in. :)

Thanks for following!

~~ Anastacia ~~

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Engagement: The Point of Decision

If this were a step-by-step process (and for some of you it may be) then as you approach engagement you would already be ready. For those that are still single if you listen to everything I share here at this point you will have waited for the right person that God has for you. You would have yourself prepared for this moment when you must decide to either ask or answer the question, “Will you marry me?”

This is a very important moment in your life’s story. Should you marry this person or not? In an ideal situation there shouldn’t be a question in your mind. At some point in your courtship or dating you should have been thinking of this question all along and praying about it.

If at any point in the courtship or dating stage, you have a doubt or a nagging feeling that this person isn’t right for you, immediately call it off. Don’t wait to see if this person will change! You can only change yourself you can’t force the other person to change. So if they aren’t a good person before marriage don’t expect them to be good after. 

The Bible says we are not to be unequally yoked with unbelievers.

unequallyyoked

Art Credit: Joshua Maness

“Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?”

– 2 Corinthians 6:14  

Woah! Woah! Woah! What is this unequally yoked business about?

Let me explain. 

Let’s say you want to plow a field or pull a wagon the old fashioned way. The yoke was the tool used to connect two animals to the plow or wagon. You don’t want to put a cow and a donkey together. They both work in different ways. Two cows would be able to pull together they are both equal in strength. Two donkeys could even work together to pull a wagon.  But you would not want to put a strong animal with a weak animal. 

The Bible says:

“Can two walk together, except they be agreed?”

– Amos 3:3

If you and the person you are thinking about marrying do not agree on important issues, then you need to call it off as soon as you realize they are not the one God has for you. Don’t think you are going to change them once you are married. That’s like that cow thinking it can change the stubborn donkey to pull faster. 

Once you commit yourself in marriage then there is no turning back. If you consider divorce an option, then you were never committed in the first place. Your marriage is doomed before you even say, “I do,” simply because you have no commitment.

Here are the questions you need to ask yourself preferably before you become engaged but especially before the wedding day.

  1. Is this person committed to God? 
  2. Will they go to church with me?
  3. Are they supportive of my interests and talents?
  4. Am I willing to support their interests?
  5. Is this person someone I want to live the rest of my life with?
  6. Do they consider divorce an option? (Do they insist on a prenuptial agreement?) 
  7. Are they committed to you?
  8. Do you feel they are only attracted to you because of your looks? 
  9. Would they still love you if you gained 50 pounds, had thinning hair, and sagging skin?
  10. What about raising children? Do you agree on how you will discipline and train your children? How many children do you both want?

These are all things worth considering. How committed are you? How committed will you be? Before your wedding day, I want you to look your fiance in the eyes and say, “I promise I will never leave you no matter what!” That’s the kind of commitment you need to have before you marry. 

That’s what I told my husband before we married. I chose to be committed to him before he even asked me to marry him.

We had a conversation where we talked about love and commitment. He expressed concern about not wanting to marry someone that would leave him. I told him that if we married I would not leave him no matter what. Even if he tried he’ll never be able to run me off. Of course, I’m not letting him become old and grumpy and he knows that I will never leave him.

I am still serious about my commitment to him. I will never leave him. We don’t even joke about divorce.

Are you that committed to the one you will marry? If you are already married, did you have questions you considered before you decided to marry your spouse? Please share with me in the comments.

Today is Day 12 of 31 Days of Commitment. For those following by email I’m sorry this one is late. We had a meeting with some other churches this morning and I was not able to get this posted on time.  

So I am writing this today but you will not get it until tomorrow which is your today. How is that for confusing? :) Thanks for following along! 

~~ Anastacia ~~

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Mother – Daughter Tea

Today, Ruth and I went to a Mother-Daughter tea. It was a lot of fun. I really enjoyed the skit and the presentation brought by a Mother and her 19 year old daughter. It was so inspiring. The whole theme was that our daughters need to trust God and wait what God has in store for them.

This is a message that I want so badly to get out to the young girls out there. Just like the mother said to us mothers, these girls need to learn to trust God and make the right decisions while they are very young, so that when they reach the age where they must make their own decisions then they will be able to make the right ones.

Another lesson in the skit that I found very good, was that when our daughters do get to be older and teenagers that we need to give them the chance to make their own decisions. We should be there to help them and guide them as best we can but they will have to decide for themselves whether they will follow God or not when they are older. They cannot just go to heaven on our faith in God but they need to trust Him and make the right decisions to follow Him for themselves.

Ruth also got something good from the skit. She said that the girl in the skit made the right decision not to go to the party that the other girls were going to. When I asked her why, she said that there might be bad people at the party and they might do bad things there. If Scott and I keep working with our children, with God’s help I know they will grow up to make the right decisions.

I was so inspired by the whole event, I came home all excited and jabbery. I practically talked Scott’s ear off. At least I didn’t overload him with the details on what everyone was wearing or what all the different tea sets looked like. All I know is that I feel more than ever that I need to get serious about my writing.

I want so badly to have an influence on children, not just my children but all children. I want to help them while they are young and before they make life-changing decisions. The decisions these kids make in their youth can affect their lives for the good or the bad. They need to be reached before they take the wrong path. It’s so much harder to take the right path after going down the wrong one. If these children can be directed down the right path before they get off it, they can live a life led by God and walk forever in His care. They will be ready for the good things that God has in store for them.

I’m not very good at speaking, however, I love to write. I believe the way the Lord would have me reach out to young people and to help them is through the words I write on paper. David said in Psalm 45:1 “…My tongue is the pen of a ready writer.” For me, my pen is the tongue of a ready speaker. Take my pen, Lord, I’ll write for You.

Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.
(Proverbs 22:6)

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