Today I’m re-sharing something. Some of you guys are on my dad’s Seriously list and received this as an e-mail Wednesday morning. The response was amazing; it must have struck a tender chord.
All of us would do well to consider how important time is. And if you’re a guy (dad or not!), please take a moment to sign up for the Seriously e-mail (you can use the blue button on the right side bar that says Receive Seriously or go to this link). It’ll come every Wednesday morning, is a short read, and is packed full of godly encouragement and advice.
Many have it upside down today. When they think of how much something costs, they think in terms of dollars. In reality, they should be thinking in terms of time. We can always get more money, but we only have a limited amount of time. That scarcity makes time invaluable.
Most have heard the expression, “I’m spending my children’s inheritance.” They usually mean that they are spending their savings themselves, and there won’t be much left for the children after their death.
Here’s another perspective for you to consider. When Dad or Mom don’t invest time in the lives of their children, might they be spending their children’s most crucial inheritance? How prepared your children are for life, their character, their walk with Christ—isn’t that far more important than any amount of dollars they might inherit?
Child-raising years are priceless, and there are no second chances. No amount of money can replace what is lost in the child’s life. You who are heavily investing in your children’s lives are making the best choice. That investment is an inheritance they will benefit from for all eternity.
“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).
The answer is the Maxwell sisters! The Lord opened up doors to minister with a local church Sunday at an event doing those three items for them. We love working together as a team, and this day was no exception.
The church invested a lot in making it a great time for families and kids alike. I really appreciate their hearts for others.
“Trust in the Lord, and do good; so shalt thou dwell in the land, and verily thou shalt be fed.” Psalm 37:3
There’s something so beautiful as sitting outside, reading Psalms, and watching the sun cast its first rays through the morning skies. It’s a new day. Another sign of the Lord’s tender mercies toward us! Have you thought about what it would be like if the sun did not rise?
I love Psalm 103. The first two verses especially:
“Bless the Lord, O my soul: and all that is within me, bless his holy name. Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits.”
Isn’t it easy to forget what the Lord has done for us? So I’m taking a few moments to say how grateful I am to the Lord for His abundant mercies, for the ability to share Him with others and proclaim Jesus, for His blessings of health and family, of many things to do, and for His guidance. What can you bless the Lord for today? I’d love for you to leave a comment below!
We’re happy to bring you the second and final part on the importance of a fire safety plan (Part 1 is here). As was shared in the first one, it’s easy to think it’ll never happen to us, but that is not a wise “plan.” We must be prepared. It could mean the difference between life or death!
I went into the children’s bedroom and yelled, “Get out! Fire.” Some woke faster than others. The smoke alarms were about ready to scream. The children were dreamy and confused, but they had practiced this drill before. They grabbed nothing. They didn’t hesitate. They didn’t ask questions. They didn’t argue. They were obedient. They all went together down the stairs and out the front door. They continued on to the barn in the middle of a frigid, dark February morning. They didn’t even have socks on as they stood waiting on the frozen ground. But, four of them were there waiting. It was so dark that my wife couldn’t see them, and in terror, yelled out their names to find them while on the phone with the 911 dispatcher. She had already placed two children in the car, as well as the two dogs, but in the utter chaos, our disoriented four-year-old left the car to head back into the house, inadvertently letting the confused dog out also. God truly did orchestrate every moment of that night. I was running to the front door to throw my wife the car keys when the dog and four-year-old came strolling back in. By God’s grace, I was at the right place at the right time to return them to safety. We had a fire plan, but God had a rescue plan.
As part of a fire plan, we had very important pictures and documents in three places that could be easily carried out just in case. All of our family photos, videos, titles, birth certificates, etc. were retrieved quickly, since we had them in one movable chest just for such an event. We had a fire extinguisher, and I ran upstairs to attempt to fight the flames. The smoke had already infiltrated the room, and opening the attic door could make things much worse. I ran back down stairs to remove several other items. Smoke rolled down the stairs behind me. The bearded dragon and hermit crab were not going to make it. I covered my nose with my shirt to get the guinea pigs, but the smoke was much more powerful than I ever imagined. It was much different than a campfire. It was so toxic to my lungs that I could not tolerate even the smallest amount. The guinea pigs would be gone.
In less than 10 minutes after seeing the first smoke, the entire house was impenetrable. How much time would my children have had upstairs? The sound of 10 smoke detectors blaring on a quiet, country night will never leave my mind. The fire department arrived. The movies make it look so easy. There’s flames and some smoke, but, unless one has experienced a residential fire, the darkness of the smoke is hard to fathom. When the flames come through the roof and the firefighters continually spray endless water into your upstairs windows, the reality hits.
I needed to retrieve one item after the firefighters were finished. It had taken several hours and required multiple departments. They escorted me into the dining room where I had just been hours earlier enjoying the flames from the stove. Water was running out of the door like a river. Reality hits.
Through all of this my family was safe at the neighbors. We had all made it out of a 1am house fire. We’d find out later that somehow the guinea pigs had lived, too. God had a plan. I believe He set that plan on our hearts for just that night.
What is God planning for you? Have you felt the urge to check your smoke alarm batteries? It could be the Spirit giving you the nudge.
Have you felt the need to create a fire evacuation plan for your children? Could it be the Spirit whispering in your ear because He knows something that you don’t?
It’s overwhelming to consider how many events needed to unfold that day to place me alert and awake on the couch at 1am. I believe there was an intruder in our attic that night. It was the Holy Spirit. He wasn’t there to destroy, but to save. Even through it all, we have nothing but thankfulness. We serve an awesome God, and we owe him all the glory! We earnestly pray that everyone will listen for the Lord’s plans in their own lives. If you have never set in place a fire escape plan or practiced fire safety we strongly encourage you to take the time to do so!
“For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.” 2 Timothy 1:7