Tag Archives: kids

Gaining God’s Longer View of Life

There are times in when life when God opens a door and someone unexpected walks through, and after that everything changes. For me, one of those moments happened in February of 2009. That was when, despite all the promises I made myself, I joined that much maligned group of older people who, at the slightest provocation, whip out pictures of dimpled cherubs and foist them on innocent bystanders. Last February Addi was born and I became a grandpa!

That was also when God once again used a normal life event to give me a peek at life from a different, longer perspective. That day I caught a glimpse of how God might see life.

Eugene C. Scott joins Mike in writing A Daily Bible Conversation twice a week.

TODAY’S READING (click here to view today’s reading online)

1 Kings 12:20-13:34

Acts 9:26-43

Psalm 132:1-18

Proverbs 17:6

INSIGHTS AND EXPLANATIONS

1 Kings 12:20-13:34: Obedience and partial obedience look so different from our perspective. But almost only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades. Not so with God. Yet each of the key figures in this passage choose what they think is right or wrong from a fluctuating point of view. And these almost right decisions eventually bring down the whole nation. How often do we choose partial obedience today and at what cost?

Acts 9:26-43: Though the caution the Jerusalem Church shows toward the unproved convert Saul is understandable, it also shows how quickly the church formed an insider versus outsider mentality. Then and today how can a community promised so much by Christ, live so often in fear?

From this point on in Acts, Peter fades in influence. Paul increases. Was Peter replaced as the Apostle to the Gentiles by Paul because Peter grew more fearful of insider criticism and curtailed his ministry to the outsiders?

If you’ve found A Daily Bible Conversation helpful, share it with your friends. Forward your daily email or send them a link to the website: www.bibleconversation.com.

THE WORD MADE FRESH

Some things you have to experience to truly understand. Until Addi was born, I tolerated grandparents with their silly grins, their wallets and purses stuffed with pictures. Now I wear that silly grin and my iPhone is packed with pictures. And I will whip them out and show them to anyone, anytime, anywhere.

But that is not what Proverbs 17:6 means by “Children’s children are a crown the the aged.”

Though I don’t consider myself aged, I am none-the-less a grandfather.  Indeed there is something grand about living long enough to hold that fresh, innocent third generation in your hands and know that no matter the mistakes you’ve made, there lies hope disguised as a diapered, squirming new life. No crown could fit so well.

Holding that new born hope as a grandpa, I flashed back to the joys and worries I had when I held each of my own three children. What tender, unique miracles each of them were. But what if I don’t measure up? I worried. What if I can’t keep them from suffering and struggling? Life is so beautiful and fragile and dangerous and difficult.

The years have taught me I often haven’t measured up. Yet my children’s lives have been beautiful though they have also struggled. As a grandfather I can now see what I couldn’t then, the longer view.

Is that how God sees our lives? Like a grandfather who has a longer view of life, who knows that we will learn our ABCs and more, much more. Who knows we will stumble but walk, fall but stand again.

Someone asked me if I am softer now that I am a grandpa. Softer? Will I go easy on my grandkids. I don’t know. I hope so.

Maybe it’s not softness though. But maybe like God, grandparents can worry and fret less, trust and smile more because they have seen and experienced the longer view. I would like to think so.

  1. How has God shown himself faithful to you over time?
  2. What experience has taught you most about God?

If you’re reading this blog on Facebook and you’d like to join the conversation, click here. www.bibleconversation.com.

Eugene co-pastors The Neighborhood Church in Littleton, CO and writes a blog eugenesgodsightings.blogspot.com

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FREEDOM OR SAFETY?

April 28, 2010

Eugene C. Scott joins Mike in writing A Daily Bible Conversation twice a week.

My kindergarten age daughter paid scant attention to the TV as the reporter and a safety expert gleefully searched several playgrounds for implements of childhood torture. It was National Playground Safety Day and the reporter rattled off alarming statistics about playground injuries. At each playground, however, much to their chagrin, the safety team found no violations.

Standing in the kitchen devouring my unsafe sugary cereal, I chortled and made derogatory comments about the news media manufacturing news. My wife, an elementary school teacher, disagreed and chastised me for being so cynical.

Meanwhile the reporter finally found a safety violation.

“Eureka!” I shouted.

Horrors, they had found the ground at the bottom of the slide too hard.

I laughed out loud. My wife gave me “the look” and I stifled further commentary, bundled up my daughter, and delivered her to school.

By 10A.M. I had forgotten all about National Playground Safety Day. Until my phone rang.

“Mr. Scott?”

“Yes.”

“This is the nurse from your daughter’s school,” said the kind woman. “Don’t worry. She’s not hurt. We are just required to tell you that she fell off the swing on the playground and hit her head.”

TODAY’S READING

Judges 8:18-9:21

Luke 23:44-24:12

Psalm 99:1-9

Proverbs 14:9-10

INSIGHTS AND EXPLANATIONS

Judges 8:18-9:21. Notice how easily Gideon and the people fall back into fear and false worship practices. How we live out our ideas and theology makes a difference in what our lives look like. They are following the practices of the nations around them in raising up the sons of the previous leader/king despite that God does not approve nor is the person always worthy.

Luke 23:44-24:12 . Luke’s recounting of the crucifixion is very spare but each detail counts. Luke is now considered one of the finest ancient historians because of his historical accuracy and detail.

If you’ve found A Daily Bible Conversation helpful, share it with your friends. Forward your daily email or send them a link to the website: www.bibleconversation.com.

THE WORD MADE FRESH

If you had to choose between freedom and safety, which direction would you lean? In my corner of the world it seems we’re listing toward safety and away from freedom. Just watch the news, as I mention above. Rules to keep us safe are all the rage.

But this heedless pursuit of safety is downright dangerous. It has driven us seek lives that brook no upsets and to form families, churches, and governments whose primary calling is protect us rather than challenge us and give us a scary freedom that may help us grow and become–not safe–but holy.

Further this so-called protected lifestyle has left us more vulnerable to the dangers we fear. For example, studies show using too much antibacterial soap is actually making us weaker and bacteria stronger.

Seeking too much safety may also subtly lead us to seek a safe (and unreal) God. God is anything but safe, says Mark Buchanan in his book Your God is Too Safe.  “God isn’t nice. God isn’t safe. God is a consuming fire,” he writes.

Before us seeking safety led the Israelites to a fatal misunderstanding of God. In an obvious bid for safety they beg Gideon, “Rule over us.” On the surface this is understandable. They live in a dangerous, war-torn world and, as we see later in the story, will do almost anything to have someone, anyone, other than the uncontrollable, fiery, invisible God of Moses and Joshua, walk with them in it.

Instead they choose corruptible human leadership and return to worshiping their safe, self-made, wooden god’s that exact no real demands nor deliver any real help. But they feel safe.

No matter whether we would choose safety over freedom, God often seems to choose freedom for us. It seems to me this is because, though dangerous, freedom births life while safety puts us to sleep, at best.

  1. When do you feel most safe?
  2. Are there any links between these four readings?
  3. When do you feel most free?
  4. When have you grown most in your faith?

If you’re reading this blog on Facebook and you’d like to join the conversation, click here. www.bibleconversation.com.

Eugene co-pastors The Neighborhood Church in Littleton, CO and writes a blog eugenesgodsightings.blogspot.com

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