Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Christianity Is Like A Bowl Of Chex Mix

And A Link Up Party Below
My eight year old daughter taught all of us to play Chess the other day. She was in the chess club at school and really learned a lot. I have to say, I have been impressed with what all she has come home telling me she learned. She bought a Chess set with Christmas money but had not gotten to use it because none of us knew how to play. That all changed on a recent rainy Saturday afternoon. Elyse, of course, won every game she played. Then my five year old son, who lost before he had a chance to use his knight - because he was saving it till last since it's the best piece- wanted to play one more time. Elyse was tired of Chess for the day so I played a round with Elijah. He won!!!! (I'll never tell whether he won fair and square or not) Upon capturing my king he shouted out "Chex Mix!" Tehehe! 

It was cute! Of course it got me thinking, like I always do when my kids say something that is clever enough to have me giggling over dirty dishes hours later. Elijah had not been at all concerned about following the rules, at least not as strictly as they were intended. He had heard the lingo, and as long as he was close that was good enough for him. He had a goal. He wanted that king, that prize - for the end to turn out well for him. He'd do what had to be done for favorable results. 
How often do we play at this game we know as "The Christian Walk"? Tweet This or Share on Facebook

We've learned the rules, we've heard all the catch phrases that go with it. But honestly we are only interested in getting through with as little damage as possible and a few wins to our name would be great.
  • Take for instance that little golden rule. Do to others as you would have them do to you. (Luke 6:31) 

We all try to follow this one, most of the time. I know I do. I don't like being cut in front of so I try to stay in my own spot and wait my turn. I've got to admit though, I have a much harder time remembering this little piece of scripture just a few verses later where it says, ...love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. (Luke 6:35

  1. I do not always "do to others what I want them to do to me" out of  love for my heavenly father, certainly not for love of the person, in particular the strangers. I do it because I am dawning my Christian shirt that day, because I know the lady in line in front of me visited my church a few weeks ago and I want to make sure I give my church "a good name". I am polite and thoughtful because I want you to like me. I am not playing fair I am not playing right, I am playing to benefit me! I do want something in return. 
  2. It is a whole other ball game when we are talking about my enemies, those people that just irk me. I might not even consider trying for this group.

God has given us some pretty simple instructions, "Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength... Love your neighbor as yourself. There is no commandment greater than these." (Mark 12:30-31) It just doesn't get more straight forward than that. And I do, I love the Lord. I am just not sure I love him more than me, more than my kids, more than my husband. I am not sure If I am willing to give up all I have to follow Him. He isn't even asking me to, He just wants me willing to. But even that I struggle with. I got a few quick lessons in the rules to the Christian walk early on. I learned what to say and am not even always to concerned with getting it right (chex mix anyone?). I want to capture the king and finish with my own still in place. When it's all said and done, if I have a few more pawns than the guy who sits in the pew next to me, bonus! 

There is so much more to being a child of God than just staying out of trouble, putting in an appearance at church and controlling certain body parts when you are behind the wheel. Certainly the bible is full of suggestions, exhortations and commands. Here are just a few packed into one little passage (1 Thessalonian 5:12-18). It's a pretty good place to start.

Now we ask you, brothers, to 

  1. respect those who work hard among you, who are over you in the Lord and who admonish you... 
  2. Live in peace with each other. 
  3. ...warn those who are idle, 
  4. encourage the timid, 
  5. help the weak, 
  6. be patient with everyone. 
  7. Make sure that nobody pays back wrong for wrong, but always try to be kind to each other and to everyone else.
  8. Be joyful always; 
  9. pray continually; 
  10. give thanks in all circumstances
How about you, do you struggle to live for Christ? Is it easier to keep it all about you? I'd love to hear how you fight this fight and where you have overcome! Click here link to leave a comment.

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Tehila at Women Abiding shares humbly and openly about where she is in her walk with the Lord and what she intends to do about it: 

Encouragement to Christian Women, Encouraging Christian Women, Encourage Christian Women, Encouragement to Women, Encourage WomenI once had a blog, which was more a personal journal for my thoughts than anything else.

My daughter, Aviel, and I, took some time this morning to read through some blog post entries that I had written about two or three years ago.

At the risk of sounding proud, the writings were sincere, inspiring, and genuinely encouraging.

Reading over recent posts that I have written for Women Abiding, Aviel and I tried to analyze why these new entries seemed more stiff, impersonal, and quite frankly, boring at times. While my daughter speculated about the reason, deep down in my heart, I knew. (continue reading)

Rach @ Diamonds in the Rough wrote about decisions and how they can affect us:

As we all know, a simple decision can CHANGE, and actually mark us, for the rest of our lives...

I am not going to camp on this aspect, however NEGATIVE~and sometimes emotionally-led~decisions can often lead to undesirable consequences later on in life...

On the other side: a RIGHT decision can lead us to a whole new place in life that we could never imagine!

Yes, there is great power in the choosing of our decisions. 

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