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Posts Tagged ‘Mom’

Sincere Faith and Spiritual Influence

May 13th, 2018

Faith must be sacredly held, sincerely lived, and successfully shared.

“Your sincere faith, which first lived in your grandmother and mother.”  2 Timothy 1:5 NIV.

My thoughts and comments today are about, Sincere Faith and Spiritual Influence.”

Everyone has influence, positively or negatively. The impact of some is beneficial; the effect of others is less so. Nowhere is there a greater necessity of sincere faith, and the opportunity for spiritual influence, than in the home. Since this weekend is Mother’s Day, let me share some thoughts about moms, especially my Mom. Certainly, in the home and family they are not the only influence; but for this occasion, Moms deserve the spotlight. Knowing me, God knew I would need a Mom that was especially patient, generous to a fault, immeasurably kind, and extravagantly loving. My Mom – Mildred Florence (McGinness) Randolph – was exactly that kind of Mom, and more.

She was the eldest of thirteen children, the daughter of a pastor, an exceptional pianist, and the wife of a pastor, and best of all, my Mom. She was raised in a very modest home. My grandad always worked to support his family in addition to what the small churches of southern Illinois could provide in the 1930s and 40s. They were poor in comparison with others but rich in the things that truly matter – family, love, character, loyalty, and faith in God. They never thought of themselves as poor; they considered themselves fortunate.

My Mom was raised in a Christian home. My Dad had not even been inside a church until he was seventeen. When he was a teen, his personal conversion resulted from my grandmother’s miraculous healing. A few years later, my Dad, a young Bible School graduate from Buffalo, New York, held a revival in a small church in southern Illinois and discovered the pastor’s beautiful and talented daughter playing the piano. Soon she was his wife . . and then she was my Mom. For that, I am graced and blessed. My Dad died in 1963, a young man, just 44 years old. My Mom died about 18 years ago at the age of 80. Even long after their deaths, my parents and grandparents still influence my personal faith. My parents were both significant, spiritual influences in my life, shaping who I am as a man, husband, father, and minister.

Church and home were one and the same in our family. My Dad from his pulpit, and my Mom from her piano, taught me the inestimable worth of a personal knowledge of God and a life of faith and service. Every day of my life has been blessed by their words and personal example. Our marriage, ministry, and family of four generations now have a Godly heritage that could not have been earned or learned in a lifetime without them.

“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His great mercy has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to obtain an inheritance which is imperishable and undefiled and will not fade away, reserved in heaven for you, who are protected by the power of God through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.” 1 Peter 1:3-5 NAS.

My Dad taught me the rare value of faith and friendship, and the loyalty and integrity required in those. My Mom taught me a generosity and care for others that I am far from having mastered yet. My parents left me an inheritance counted in the very real currency of the lives and faith of our children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren. “A good man [or woman] leaves an inheritance to their children’s children.” Proverbs 13:22 NAS.

You will afford your family a Godly example or allow them a perilous exemption. Sincere faith must be sacredly held, sincerely lived, and successfully shared with the next generations. Make your practice and profession of faith honest, and especially consistent. A Godly, family heritage that touches future generations can either continue or begin with you today.

Today, I pray for you to value highly the faith entrusted to you and pass it on.

Christian Communications 2018

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Godly Generations

May 12th, 2017

The Godly impact of a life touches generations and reaches eternity

 “Telling the generation to come the praises of the Lord.” Psalm 78:4 NKJV

My thoughts and comments today are about, “Godly Generations.”

Few track and field events are any more exciting than the relay race. Four athletes give their all for their assigned portion of the race, and then pass the baton to the next runner. If the baton is not handed off properly within the allowed space, or is dropped, that team is disqualified. Each runner gives their best effort until coming to where the next runner anxiously awaits. For a few brief steps, they run alongside each other until the baton is safely transferred and then a runner moves aside while the other must continue. One’s portion of the race is completed; another’s is begun.

Your life of faith is like that. We each have our assigned portion of race to run, cheered on by those before us, and responsible to those awaiting us. Read 2 Timothy 1:3-6 NIV. The Apostle Paul often used the metaphor of a runner. “If only I may finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me – the task of testifying to the gospel of God’s grace.” Acts 20:24 NIV. Read 2 Tim 4:7-8 NIV.

And parenting is like that also. This weekend holds a special day when more phone calls are made, more flowers sold, more restaurants crowded, and more greeting cards purchased than any other day of the year – Mother’s Day. My thoughts today are shaped by family events in past months. Our family welcomed two Great Granddaughters, Caroline Renee and Riley Madison. That struggle of birth and the gift of life are fresh in my mind as I write. I marvel as I watched our granddaughters with their helplessly dependent infants. They have counted their joyful sacrifice of self in the time and care given as privilege, not sacrifice.

The Bible commands, “Telling the generation to come the praises of the Lord, and His strength and His wonderful works that He has done . . That the generation to come might know them. Read Psalm 78:1-7 NLT. A mother’s influence is immense, far greater than she may presume during the busy years of mothering. A mother’s life is not lived for herself, but with a vision for the lives of the children and families who will follow her. She does not count herself to have succeeded until her children and their children’s children have prospered. And a mother’s influence is not limited to her lifetime. Moms are always with you even after they are gone. And Moms will always be in the hearts of their family.

My Mom is no longer with us, but she is forever in my heart. When she lived, I wanted to be with her; now, I wish I were more like her. Before, I enjoyed her company; now, I remember her character. Before, I enjoyed our conversations; now, I value the clarity of her words and wisdom. Before I admired the faith and values she taught me; now, I treasure the convictions she held steadfastly.

For a season, God gives Moms and Dads to us to impart values, example, life experience, character, convictions, priorities, hopes, and faith. Moms know others must run further than she could, while yearning for us to do so with less pain and more pleasure than her own, and with fewer struggles and more victories. Godly generations, behind as well as ahead of you, depend on your doing so.

Unless you understand that your brief life is a timeless connection of influence with those generations both before and after you, you may fail to live your life with a similar, Godly influence that is consequential and eternal. Man or woman, young or old, be God’s love wrapped in a human heart, so the Godly impact of your life will stretch well beyond your lifetime, even beyond the lifetimes of those whose lives you touch, “That they may set their hope in God, And not forget the works of God, but keep His commandments.” Psalm 78:7 NKJV. Read 1 Corinthians 9:24-26 NIV.

Today, I pray for you to prize a Godly heritage and provide the same to those who follow.

Christian Communications 2017

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Your Plans or His?

December 14th, 2016

God has a hope-filled future for you; plan accordingly.

“In his heart a man plans his course, but the Lord determines his steps.” Proverbs 16:9 NIV

My thoughts and comments today ask, “your plans or His?”

Plans. Plans connect you to your future, or at least you suppose they will. Everyone makes them and should, but not every plan comes to fruition. We are somewhat limited. We know the past, even if we have not learned from it. And we are fairly aware of the present, even when we are not as fully engaged as we should be. But as to the future, we can only guess. That limitation makes even your best plans incomplete.

The philosophy of our secular culture is, “Plan your work and work your plan.” But where is God in that advice? I heard a person described as, “not having an eraser.” As I got to know them better, I realized the accuracy of their description. They were not at all flexible. The Psalmist described the tragedy of people whose plans fail to include God. “When their breathing stops, they return to the earth, and in a moment, all their plans come to an end.” Psalm 146:4 NLT. Life is wasted by those who do not put God first in their plans. Why waste time, energy, or irreplaceable resource on plans that fail to include God?

Make sure your plans touch eternity. “In his heart a man plans his course, but the Lord determines his steps.” Proverbs 16:9 NIV. It’s your choice, His plans or yours? Your aspirations for the future are best when submitted to His wiser direction. By experience, Solomon learned, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways, acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths.” Proverbs 3:5-6 NKJV.

If the wisest of men knew to not depend on his imperfect understanding, then maybe you and I are wise to do so as well. In the wilderness, Israel’s insistence on their way instead of God’s will resulted in terrible loss. “And He gave them their request, but sent leanness into their soul.” Psalm 106:15 NKJV. God’s path and plans are always better than experiencing a “leanness of soul.”

Wouldn’t it be wonderful if you could just know the future? Or even if you knew someone who did know the future? There is One who does. God said, “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11 NIV. God has a hope-filled future for you; plan accordingly. Hope without a future would be meaningless; a future without hope would be despairing.

As a boy, I remember my mother singing at her piano, “Many things about tomorrow, I can’t seem to understand. But I know Who holds tomorrow, and I know He holds my hand.” You can live every day with strength and confidence. “I trust in you, O Lord; I say, ‘You are my God.’ My times are in your hands.” Psalm 31:14-15 NIV. God offers you a future filled with hope and a hope that fills your future. “The steps of the Godly are directed by the Lord. He delights in every detail of their lives.”  Psalm 37:23 NLT.

Today, I pray for you to rest your hope and future upon God’s character and faithfulness.

Christian Communications 2016

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Healing Laughter

May 18th, 2016

Dear Readers of EDL: I will be taking a few days of leisure with my wife and some dear friends, away from my office and writing responsibilities. In these next days, visit the Archives of previous devotionals at the Wedbiste, if you need a bit of God’s Word to brighten your day and lighten your heart. I so appreciate your partnership in EveryDay Life. I’ll meet you here again next week. Blessings In His Name.

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“A merry heart is good medicine.” Proverbs 17:22 NIV.

Laughter is a gift you give yourself and others.

My thoughts and comments today are about, “healing laughter.”

When humor is good-natured and without sarcasm or portraying others disparagingly, it can provide a mental and emotional mini-vacation that lightens and lifts a heavy heart. “Laugh and the world laughs with you; weep and you weep alone.” (Solitude, Ella Wheeler Wilcox, 1850-1919, American author and poet). People don’t laugh enough and they, as well as their family and friends, are the worse for the lack thereof. A common saying is: “Laughter is the best medicine.” Solomon was the wisest of men, and he wrote that “Being cheerful keeps you healthy. It is slow death to be gloomy all the time.” Proverbs 17:22 TEV. Lighten up; brighten yours and others’ lives. “A merry heart makes a cheerful countenance, but by sorrow of the heart the spirit is broken.” Proverbs 15:13 NKJV. Laughter is healing to the soul. Humor freshens attitudes, refreshes emotions, relieves worry, and releases tension. Solomon was the wisest of men, and he wrote that “Being cheerful keeps you healthy. It is slow death to be gloomy all the time.” Proverbs 17:22 TEV.

As I was growing up, our home was a happy place. Our family laughed freely and frequently. My Dad had a big smile and a ready laugh. When friends were in our home, I remember that there was lots of laughter and funny stories. Solomon wrote, “For the happy heart, life is a continual feast.” Proverbs 15:15 NLT. A favorite childhood memory of mine is sitting by my Dad watching comedians on television, laughing together at the antics of Red Skelton, Milton Berle, or George Burns and Gracie Allen. Admittedly, that was before comedians considered profanity and vulgarity to be funny.

My Mom was always my most appreciative audience. I enjoyed making her laugh. None too seriously, my Dad would occasionally say, “Don’t laugh at the boy, Mildred; you’ll just encourage him!” Apparently, she ignored his pretended discouragement. I still love a well-placed humorous ad-lib, probably more than continues to be funny sometimes. I love laughter that is joyous and spontaneous. Does that happen to you often enough?

Laughter is a gift you give yourself and others. Do your friends and family a favor; make them laugh. My Dad also said, “Everyone brings joy, some when they come and others when they go.” Be the first of those; bring joy whenever and wherever you come. People don’t laugh enough, especially at themselves. Don’t take yourself and everyone else so seriously. When things are as serious and sobering as our world seems to be presently, a few more people with a healthy sense of humor does not seem to me a bad thing, especially ones able to laugh at themselves.

Jesus must have had a terrific sense of humor, judging by the stories He told. Imagine a camel trying to go through the eye of a needle (Matthew 19:24 NIV), or a judgmental person trying to get a speck out a friend’s eye with a sizable log in their own (Matthew 7:1-5 NLT). Read the Gospels. People loved being with Jesus; children and crowds sought His company. I think everybody was happier being with Jesus, except those who thought themselves too religious or self-important. I envision Jesus with the broadest of smiles, most uninhibited laugh, and the most joyous of hearts – all the while loving life and living abundantly. His desire for you is simple and clear, “These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may remain in you, and your joy may be full.” John 15:11 NKJV. The world – and the Church – needs a lot more of His joy.

Today, I pray for you to have and enjoy the company of friends who find humor healing.

Christian Communications 2016-11810 laugh; it’s good for you

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Sincere Faith

May 7th, 2016

“Your sincere faith, which first lived in your grandmother and mother.”  2 Timothy 1:5 NIV.

Faith must be sacredly held, sincerely lived, and successfully shared.

My thoughts and comments today are about, “sincere faith.”

Everyone has influence. The impact of some is beneficial; the effect of others is less so. Nowhere is there the greater opportunity for enduring influence than in the home. Since this weekend is Mother’s Day, let me share some thoughts about moms. Certainly, in the home and family they are not the only influence; but for this occasion, Moms deserve the spotlight. Knowing me, God knew I would need a Mom that was especially patient, generous to a fault, immeasurably kind, and extravagantly loving. My Mom – Mildred Florence (McGinness) Randolph – was exactly that kind of Mom, and more.

She was the eldest of thirteen children, the daughter of a pastor, and an exceptional pianist. She was raised in a very modest home. My grandad always worked to support his family in addition to what the small churches of southern Illinois could provide in the 1930s and 40s. They were poor in comparison with others but rich in the things that truly matter – family, love, character, loyalty, and faith in God. They never thought of themselves as poor; they considered themselves fortunate. My Mom was raised in a Christian home.

My Dad had not even been inside a church until he was seventeen. His personal conversion resulted from my grandmother’s miraculous healing, when he was a teen. My Dad, a young Bible School graduate from Buffalo, New York, held a revival in southern Illinois and discovered this pastor’s beautiful and talented daughter playing the piano. Soon she was his wife, and then she was my Mom. For that, I am graced and blessed. My Dad died a young man, just 44 years old. My Mom died about 15 years ago at the age of 80. Even long after their deaths, my parents and grandparents still influence my personal faith. My parents were both significant, spiritual influences in my life, shaping who I am as a man, husband, father, and minister.

Church and home were one and the same in our family. My Dad from his pulpit and my Mom from her piano, taught me the inestimable worth of a personal knowledge of God and a life of faith and service. Every day of my life has been blessed by their words and personal example. Our marriage, ministry, and family of four generations have a Godly heritage that could not have been earned or learned in a lifetime without them. Read 1 Peter 1:3-5 NAS.

My Dad taught me the rare value of faith and friendship, and the loyalty and integrity required in those. My Mom taught me a generosity and care for others that I am far from having mastered yet. My parents left me an inheritance counted in the very real currency of the lives and faith of our children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren. “A good man [or woman] leaves an inheritance to their children’s children.” Proverbs 13:22 NAS. You will afford your family a Godly example or allow them a perilous exemption. Sincere faith must be sacredly held, sincerely lived, and successfully shared with the next generations. Make your practice and profession of faith honest, and especially, consistent. A Godly, family heritage that touches future generations can either continue or begin with you today.

Today, I pray for you to highly value the faith entrusted to you.

Christian Communications 2016

Facebook.com/everydaylife.allenrandolph

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