Let Your Arrows Fly

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My grandmother and parents with their arrows.

 

My brother, Jason, posted a message on our mother’s Facebook wall. It was about the verses in Psalms that talk about children being an heritage of the Lord.

“Lo, children are an heritage of the LORD: and the fruit of the womb is his reward. As arrows are in the hand of a mighty man; so are children of the youth. Happy is the man that hath his quiver full of them: they shall not be ashamed, but they shall speak with the enemies in the gate.” – Psalm 127:3-5 KJV

In his message to our mother he told a story of another missionary, 

Hey Mom, I saw this and made me think of you and Dad ….
“I’m reminded of what Jim Elliot wrote to his parents after informing them that he was being called by God to the jungles of Ecuador as a missionary. Like any parents, Jim’s folks wished for him safety and security, a steady income beneath his feet and a roof over his head. But he said to them:

Remember how the Psalmist described children? He said they were a heritage from the Lord, that every man should be happy who had his quiver full of them. And what is a quiver full of but arrows? And what are arrows for but to shoot? So with the strong arms of prayer, draw the bowstring back and let the arrows fly–all of them, straight at the enemy’s hosts!”
Love ya’ll and miss you.

This was my mother’s reply and I thought it was so beautiful it had to be published.

Jason, thanks for sharing this!! I love it!!! I do constantly pray for you as a missionary and Stacie and Sarah as preachers wives. It is true about the comfort parents feel when their children are doing well financially. But money isn’t everything.

I feel much better about the safety and security of my children knowing they are serving the Lord because I know he is better at knowing what is best for you all than I am.

I am thankful that the Lord blessed us with a quiver of 3 wonderful children and that you are all serving him.

France is a long way from here and if Stacie and Scott go to Argentina in the future, it is about the same distance from here. And even though Palestine, TX is not that far from us, it is still too far for me to see everything that is going on in Sarah’s life and help her through everything I would like to.

But these places are not far from the Lord. In fact, He is right there with all of you and can give you a comforting hug when I can’t. I will continue to pray for the arrows we were given to land where He wants them to and comfort me when I get to missing our arrows too much and hopefully allow us to fly over and visit them or them fly our way occasionally.

I love my parents. I consider it an honor to be one of their arrows. 

I pray when my children are ready to leave our home they will fly straight to the target God has for them. I’m sure there will be moments I will be scared for them. There will be times I will have to sit back and watch prayerfully from the sidelines. 

It might be tempting to hold on tight to those arrows in fear that they might break. However if I don’t let go would they be fulfilling the purpose God has designed for them?

Have you ever had to let some arrows fly? If you haven’t had to let those arrows go yet what do you think the hardest part will be? Please share your experiences of letting go in the comments. Those days are coming upon us quickly as our son Joshua will be 17 in June. I would love to hear your experiences and advice.  

 

Don't Quit

Have you gotten our free book “Don’t Quit: Build a Legacy of Commitment”? If not click on this picture to sign up for your free copy today.

 

Linking up with Susan B Mead’s #DanceWithJesus link up.

 

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The Love of a Parent (or Elisabeth Threw up in My Hands)

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Elisabeth is trying to figure out why I gave her a rock and a snake.

“And I say unto you, Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you. For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened. If a son shall ask bread of any of you that is a father, will he give him a stone? or if he ask a fish, will he for a fish give him a serpent? Or if he shall ask an egg, will he offer him a scorpion? If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?” – Luke 11:9-13 KJV

I made the mistake of telling my husband that I needed God to strike me with inspiration when I was trying to write this post for Ask God Today’s email series on Love.

It’s not that the Bible is short on topics about love. On the contrary there are a lot of great verses that refer to all kinds of love. My problem was I had to choose only one.

Then inspiration hit me like a rock and I grabbed these props and gave them to Elisabeth at our kitchen table.

“When your children are hungry, what do you give them?”

I then compare our love for our children to God’s love as our Heavenly Father.

Little did I know that Elisabeth wasn’t done giving me illustrations for this post.

Yes, she threw up in my room as I was writing this article and after I cleaned it all up her illness gave me more to write about.

Isn’t that how it goes sometimes?

“How many times has my Heavenly Father cleaned up the messes I’ve made? I may have to live with some of the stench, but as I draw closer to Him, I become healthier.

Elisabeth fell asleep in my arms. As I held her close I thought about how comforting it is to know that God is right there holding me close whenever I’m not well. He knows exactly what medicine we need.”

So that is how inspiration strikes this writing mom sometimes. :) As I say in this post, “I’m not a perfect parent. I make mistakes.”

But I’m just glad that God IS perfect. He knows exactly what I need when I need it.

You can read more about The Love of a Parent by clicking on this link or on the picture above.

Have you experienced God’s love in your life? Will you let Him pick you up? Feel free to share your experiences of parental love in the comments. I love to hear your stories.

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Joy of Salvation: Jonathan’s Testimony

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Not quite the Salvation Armor but Jonathan is awful cute in it. :)

Jonathan was wanting to be saved for a long time. His desire began after Hannah was saved about 2 years ago. You can read her salvation post from April 4, 2011 entitled “Two Birthdays!!!

Hannah was so thrilled about being saved that she would tell Jonathan how to be saved while he was still very young.

We do not pressure our children to be saved. We want them to understand completely what they are doing and why. 

Jonathan did not understand that he was a sinner. We taught him that sin is the bad things we do. In order to be saved he needed to realize he did bad things and feel sorry about those bad things he did. 

Jonathan did not feel at all convicted of his sin when he was younger. So whenever he would ask us how to be saved we would explain that first step and then tell him that God knows he wants to be saved but until he understands what sin is God keeps him safe. 

Earlier this year, Jonathan was finally understanding that he was a sinner and really wanted to be saved. We were sure from how he talked and answered our questions that he wasn’t just wanting to join the “saved club”. 

He agreed that he was a sinner and I read him the Bible verses “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” Romans 3:23

“For the wages of sin is death but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” Romans 6:23

“For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:” 1 Corinthians 15:3-4 

Jonathan understood what he needed to do. I even had him tell me how to be saved. He had all the head knowledge. All he needed to do was ask Jesus to save him. “Whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”

I wanted him to say the prayer for himself. I don’t like having a child quote a prayer I made up. I want them to understand that they are talking to God when they pray just like they talk to me. Jonathan wasn’t sure what to say in his prayer. I asked him if he wanted me to write a prayer that he dictates to me and then he can pray it. He agreed and he wrote a very nice well worded prayer. Telling God that he was sorry for his sins and that he wanted to be saved. 

After that prayer he looked at me and asked, “Am I saved now?” 

I looked back at him and said, “You tell me. Are you saved?”

“I don’t know.” He shrugged.

“Did you really mean what you said? Were you serious?” I asked.

“I don’t know. How can I be serious?”

Weeks after we had this conversation Jonathan still wasn’t sure. Whenever we would talk about it he was still stuck on whether he was serious or not when he prayed. He also wasn’t sure if he was sorry enough for his sins. 

He didn’t like sinning and he knew sinning was bad but he wasn’t sure if he was sorry enough. You know this is a good question to ponder on a while. Are we really sorry for those bad things we do? Are we serious? 

Committing your life to Christ is a longterm commitment. You shouldn’t take these things lightly and I feel Jonathan was truly weighing it all out in his mind.

Finally, Wednesday, August 20, Jonathan figured it out.

After our Bible Study that Wednesday night Jonathan told me that he wanted to be saved. I sent him to have a talk with Scott. When Jonathan came back he looked rather sad that he still didn’t understand.

I asked him, “What is it that’s holding you back?” 

“I don’t know how to be serious?” he said sadly.

“Are you serious right now?”

“Yes, I’m serious that I really want to be saved!” he replied.

The next part he was worried about was whether he felt bad enough about his sins.

He named a few things that he knew he did wrong.

I asked him if it made him feel bad that those things were holding him back from being saved. He said that he didn’t want to go to hell.

I explained that it was his sin that would cause him to go there. I then asked him if that made him feel bad. He agreed it did. 

He wanted to know how to not do bad things. 

I explained that he couldn’t be good by himself that only Jesus could help him. All he needed to do is ask Jesus to forgive him. It was at that point he closed his eyes and said a silent prayer. 

He opened his eyes and asked me, “Am I saved now?”

I replied, “You tell me. Are you saved?” 

“How do I know I’m saved?” he asked.

“Didn’t Jesus say in the Bible that He would save you if you ask Him to?”

I love seeing the light come on in a child’s face when they just figure something out.

He understood. “So I’m saved!”

“Did you ask Jesus to save you?”

“Yes! I’m saved!”

“Do you want to go tell Daddy?” 

“Yes!” He runs off to the other room shouting, “Daddy, I’m saved!”

Scott came into the living room to hear the whole story and to give Jonathan a big hug. Jonathan then ran around the house telling all his siblings the good news.

The next day Scott and I overheard Jonathan witnessing to Elijah, “Whosoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved. All you have to do is call on the name of the Lord!” 

Elijah who is only 4 and doesn’t quite have this all figured out yet hollers real loud, “LORD!!!” 

Jonathan has been wanting to tell everyone about what Jesus did for him. Even today he told us that when he grows up he wants to tell people about Jesus. 

It’s my prayer that he never loses that joy of his salvation and that desire to share his testimony with everyone.

Do you have that joy? When was the last time you shared it with others? Feel free to practice sharing that joy with us in the comments. Don’t stop there though. Go share that joy with the rest of the world. 

My next post will be written in Argentina. I plan to post a lot during this month. Pray for us! We fly out tomorrow morning. 

“Whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.” Romans 10:13

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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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My 10 Favorite Inspirational Quotes

There are so many good quotes in the world it’s hard to just pick a few. As a child I quoted everything from “Rain Rain go away” to “If at first you don’t succeed try try again.” I don’t use those childhood quotes so much anymore but I was challenged by a fellow Tribe Writer on his blog post at Positive Writer to write a blog about my favorite quotes.

It took me a while to come around to it but I decided I’d take up the challenge.

 

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Papa and Nana with the kids

As a grand-daughter of 2 preachers, a daughter of 1 preacher, a sister to a preacher, a sister-in-law to another preacher, and let’s not forget I am a preacher’s wife as well…


Obviously a few of my favorite quotes come from the Bible. Here is one such quote I like as a writer.

My tongue is a pen of a ready writer.“~Psalm 45:1

Sometimes I reverse it and say, “My pen is the tongue of a ready speaker.”

 

Ever since I was a child I loved the adventures of Anne of Green Gables by L. M. Montgomery. I still enjoy reading her books over
and over again. One of the biggest things I got from her books and think about when I make a new friend that I relate with is

If a person sees eye to eye with you, and has pretty much the same taste in jokes – why then he belongs to the race that knows Joseph.”
“Oh, I understand,” exclaimed Anne, light breaking in upon her. “It’s what I used to call and still call in quotation marks ‘kindred spirits’.
“~Anne of the Island by L. M. Montgomery

 

Just like Anne, I find friends that even on the first meeting I realize are a “kindred spirit”. They are someone that understands me. Other people might look at me funny but a “kindred spirit” just knows.

 

Here is another favorite Bible quote:

Therefore if thine enemy be hungry, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink; for in so doing thou shalt heap coals of fire on his head. Be not overcome of evil but overcome evil with good.“~Romans 12:20-21

As a child I added a little emphasis to the “heaping coals of fire” part. Now I try to focus more on “overcoming evil with good”.

 

Here’s another Bible quote that I frequently use on the kids. This one you have to imagine Captain Kirk’s phraseology a bit.

The rod and reproof giveth wisdom: but a child left to himself bringeth his mother shame.” ~Proverbs 29:15

You have to understand that I’m not angry when I quote that one to my kids. I use that one when they’ve been goofing off while my back was turned. That’s my pre-getting-them-back-on-task quote.

The kids usually respond that I sound like Papa. But they do return to work after my sermonette about what that verse means.
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This next quote, I use while cleaning out my refrigerator, comes from my dad. I don’t know if he actually coined it but he is the only one I’ve heard use it.

When in doubt, throw it out.“~ Paul Clark

That probably goes along with “better safe than sorry.”

 

This morning I am up early during a 30 day challenge with a few friends that are also taking the challenge. We’re reading a book by another Tribe Writing friend entitled Early to Rise.

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Jonathan and Elisabeth

So this morning another couple of quotes come to my mind.

Yet a little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to sleep: So shall thy poverty come as one that travelleth, and thy want as an armed man.” ~ Proverbs 6:10-11 also Proverbs 24:33-34

That verse is not saying to never sleep but it brings another of my dad’s quotes to mind.

Girl, you’re going to sleep your whole day away!“~ Paul Clark

I intend to not sleep my day away.

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My Parents: Paul and Janie Clark

Here is another I have had to repeat to myself many times.

The fear of man bringeth a snare: but whoso putteth his trust in the LORD shall be safe. ~ Proverbs 29:25

 

I could go on and on with Bible quotes. I’ll just give you a couple more.

 

But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.” ~Philippians 4:19

This one I think of whenever we don’t have the money to buy something we really need. God always provides.

 

Finally, one quote that I’ve given a lot of devotions on:

But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day [is] the
evil thereof.
” ~ Matthew 6:33-34

Do you have any favorite quotes? Leave a comment to share your favorites with me.

This post was ready to go last Friday but my internet wasn’t working. I plan to blog again before the week is out.

If there are any topics you would like to see me post about or questions you would like to ask just let me know. You can ask in the comments or contact me through my contact page. If you are reading this in your email you can also just reply to the email and I’ll answer as soon as I can.

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