It has been really hard for me recently to fix my eyes on the eternal hope of Heaven and on the joy that I have in the finished work of Christ. It is easy to be overwhelmed with the struggles of everyday life. When I read this passage yesterday morning, I was uplifted and I hope you will be, too.
The years of heat and drought will still come, but the man who trusts in the Lord can continue to bear fruit without fear, because he is rooted in the Lord. The desert shrub might survive the drought but that well-watered tree can thrive.
“Thus says the LORD: “Cursed is the man who trusts in man and makes flesh his strength, whose heart turns away from the LORD. He is like a shrub in the desert, and shall not see any good come. He shall dwell in the parched places of the wilderness, in an uninhabited salt land.
“Blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD, whose trust is the LORD. He is like a tree planted by water, that sends out its roots by the stream, and does not fear when heat comes, for its leaves remain green, and is not anxious in the year of drought, for it does not cease to bear fruit.”
“May the God of endurance and encouragement grant you to live in such harmony with one another, in accord with Christ Jesus, that together [NASB: ONE ACCORD] you may with one voice glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.”
In Romans 14, Paul urged his brothers and sisters in Christ not to quarrel over petty opinions, not to pass judgment on one another, knowing that each one of us will have to give an account of ourselves before God. Paul exhorted the Romans to serve Christ as their master and Lord, living by faith and pursuing peace and mutual upbuilding. This exhortation continued into Romans 15 where Paul prayed that the God of endurance and encouragement would grant us to live in such HARMONY with one another, in agreement with Jesus Christ, that TOGETHER, in UNITY, in ONE ACCORD and with one voice we could bring God glory.
This word translated in English as “together” in the ESV or “one accord” in NASB or “one mind” in the King James and the NIV is the Greek word “homothymadon“
According to Thayer’s Greek Lexicon, homothymadon is, “A unique Greek word, used 10 of its 12 New Testament occurrences in the Book of Acts, helps us understand the uniqueness of the Christian community. Homothymadon is a compound of two words meaning to “rush along” and “in unison”. The image is almost musical; a number of notes are sounded which, while different, harmonize in pitch and tone. As the instruments of a great concert under the direction of a concert master, so the Holy Spirit blends together the lives of members of Christ’s church.”
It is not a million clones singing the same note, mere robots uttering identical words. It is a million unique individuals coming together to GLORIFY God, made even more marvelous as we each share our unique testimonies, our unique personalities, our unique passions and experiences and gifts to serve Him as a united body of individuals. WOW!!!
I’ve been a VIPKID teacher for over 2 years now and LOVE it. I’ve been learning a little Chinese, but am making poor progress. But I sure love making videos, so when I heard about contest by Lingo Bus (the sister company to VIPKID that teaches Chinese with native Chinese speakers), I quickly jumped on board!
My kids and I have been sitting outside, enjoying the beautiful spring weather, while I read aloud a great book.
The trees are giving us shade. The sun is warming us. The breeze is gently blowing. And the birds are singing their song. They’re doing what they were made to do.
And so am I.
What was I made to do?
I was made to bring God glory. I was made to enjoy Him, to love Him, to love others, to share the good news with others that they would enjoy and love Him, too.
The Heavens declare the glory of God, but so do we! I am God’s handiwork, God’s creation, created on purpose for good works which He prepared in advance for me to do. (Ephesians 2:10)
I can bring God glory in my own backyard with my own kids. I can bring God glory in the early morning hours soaking in His Word. I can bring God glory by encouraging a sister in Christ or by praying for my enemy. There are so many ways to glorify God.
How about you? How can you fulfill your God-given purpose today? I’d love to partner with you to glorify God together!
Some of you don’t know what it’s like to grow up without a bunch of neighbor kids to play with.
Some of you don’t remember having days on end without a mom or dad at home telling you what to do or entertaining you.
Considering all those parents who suddenly find themselves working from home and are looking for ways to keep their kids busy without devices and without friends and without your constant input, I thought these ideas might help you.
So … here’s 47 ways I occupied my time growing up as a latchkey kid in an urban area without electronic devices. Looking at this list makes me extra thankful for my sister. Even though we fought, I’m so thankful I had her.
Read books – lots of books – to my stuffed animals, to myself, outside, inside, in the attic, in the basement, in my bedroom, in the living room, picture books, chapter books, old books, new books, fiction, non-fiction, short, long … lots and lots of books.
Built forts with chairs and sheets
Made zoos with stuffed animals
Swung on our swing set
Made kites out of all kinds of stuff
Made paper airplanes
Made paper snowflakes
Made signs and cards for my mom and dad
Played tennis at the high school a few blocks away
Played Connect Four
Played Guess Who
Played Pay Day
Played with an old doll house
Played with my cat
Looked at old photo albums
Made a newspaper to sell to my neighbors for 20 cents each
Used an encyclopedia to write articles about animals I liked
Made up jokes and wrote them down
Recorded nonsense of all kinds on a tape recorder
Drew pictures with pencil
Drew pictures with chalk
Painted with watercolors
Colored coloring books
Put together puzzles
Made stuff with wood scraps, a hammer, some nails and glue, and sometimes even my dad’s drill press and handsaw
Made-up crazy recipes in the kitchen
Made real recipes in the kitchen
Napped all over the house – on floors, in closets, behind doors, on couches – but rarely in my bed
Fought with my sister
Made up with my sister
Blasted music and sang along, while acting out the lyrics, with my sister
Took care of whatever extra pets I had at the moment – hermit crabs, fish, turtles, frogs, mice, hamsters, gerbils, or stray kittens
Took a walk around my neighborhood
Rolled down the hill next door
Played in the sprinkler in the summer or in the snow in the winter
Day dreamed on my front porch
As we have this time on pause, let’s give our kids some time to return to the simpler things, things that don’t have to be plugged in, things you don’t have to have a crowd to do, things that use your creativity and (dare I say) things that invite you to be a little “bored.” Being bored isn’t always bad.