Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Honoring others (Ephesians 6:1-9)

"Shining light in darkness"

Canon Rebel t1i and Corel Painter

It's firefly season in New Jersey : )  I love these little rascals and it reminds me of our faith.  We too need to reflect the light to shine in our countries.  The fireflies are nearly impossible to capture on film so I painted them in on my photo.

This is the only passage I sincerely wish wasn't in the Bible...   I'd rather just forget my childhood and enjoy today. But God put this here for a reason and it seems He chose today for me to dig in and deal with it.  I had a good talk with my husband about this, his family wasn't perfect either.  In fact, we both agreed no one's is.

I had a talk with God.  I asked Him why I have to be nice about my parents.  The still small voice whispered, "Have you read your testimony?  Haven't I provided all your needs and more?"  
I smiled, swallowed my pride and whispered, "Above and beyond Father, thank You so much."
My testimony is the "About Me" link on the side.  It's time for me to quit judging and just accept what's done is done.  Today is all I really have.

Do not call to mind the former things, Or ponder things of the past. 19 "Behold, I will do something new, Now it will spring forth; Will you not be aware of it? I will even make a roadway in the wilderness, Rivers in the desert.
(Isaiah 43:18-19 NASB)

1 Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. 2 “Honor your father and mother,” which is the first commandment with promise:  3 “that it may be well with you and you may live long on the earth.”

My first question is, "What does the word 'honor' really mean?"
Webster's Dictionary- good name or public esteem :  reputation
b :  a showing of usually merited respect :  recognition <pay honor to our founder>  

It's about how we present our parent's actions to others, what we say about them in public.  Everyone's parent's made mistakes.  Some mistakes are bigger than others.  But most of it wasn't done intentionally.  In my New York Institute of Photography class, we were discussing how to critique other people's photos.  Our leader Chuck Delaney told us a story about receiving a photo in a ripped up, taped together envelope.  Chuck asked the Director what he should do with it.  The director told him he should congratulate the man for being able to attach the stamp.  He had lost most of his fingers.  We really don't know what other people struggle with.  Some people are great parents and some just don't know what to do.

So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.
(Matthew 7:12 NIV)

Verse 1 holds an important key for me.  It says, "Honor your Mother and Father"  and then it says why, "that it may be well with you and you may live long on the earth."  I think I finally figured out what this means.  If we badmouth our parents and constantly talk about how bad we've had it in life, no one wants to be around us.  It's depressing and others look at us differently.   I have some favorite memories: on my birthdays my Mom made the most fantastic birthday cakes for me.  My Dad saw how much I enjoyed riding horses, so he took me to English riding lessons every Saturday, then we'd get doughnuts afterward.  

To be honest, it's the same with marriage.  If I don't honor my husband it reflects poorly on me and visa versa.  Not only that, it gives the in-laws the wrong idea and makes life way more difficult than it should be.  Actually, home is happier when I act nice : )  I even like myself better when I don't complain.

4 And you, fathers, do not provoke your children to wrath, but bring them up in the training and admonition of the Lord.
To me, this is about taking a belt and hitting a child until they scream.  Using methods on children that a parent wouldn't want to experience.  Parents aren't supposed to gain domination, but rather respect.  Domination brings retaliation not love.  Another way to lose trust and respect is constant verbal threats. 

Webster's Dictionary- A Bondservant  is a person bound to service without wages; also :  slave

5 Bondservants, be obedient to those who are your masters according to the flesh, with fear and trembling, in sincerity of heart, as to Christ; 6 not with eyeservice, as men- pleasers, but as bondservants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart, 7 with goodwill doing service, as to the Lord, and not to men, 8 knowing that whatever good anyone does, he will receive the same from the Lord, whether he is a slave or free.
I always tried to honor my bosses.  It wasn't easy.  One of them yelled at me every morning to find out the status of my work.  It was amazing.  Can you think of a better way to demotivate your staff?  Yikes!

9 And you, masters, do the same things to them, giving up threatening, knowing that your own Master also is in heaven, and there is no partiality with Him.
(Ephesians 6:1-9 NKJV)

God has no partiality He died for all of us.  I think He loves how different we all are.  I know He loves us all.

This is a great song by Kari Jobe, We Are (link) 

 Dear Heavenly Father,
I lift up Ukraine to You.  I pray You will bring peace- Your peace that passes understanding.  I pray also for Jerusalem.  Protect these people Father from all that would seek to destroy.  In all these things let the wrong fail and the right win.  Thank You for good decisions in the Supreme Court this week.  I pray You will grant us wisdom in selecting the next president. Please grant our Congress wisdom to know how to fix things.

Our Father in heaven,
Reveal who you are.
10 Set the world right;
Do what's best––
  as above, so below.
11 Keep us alive with three square meals.
12 Keep us forgiven with you and forgiving others.
13 Keep us safe from ourselves and the Devil.
You're in charge!
You can do anything you want!
You're ablaze in beauty!
  Yes. Yes. Yes .
(Matthew 6:9-13 Message)

In Jesus Name, Amen.

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