Being Verbs, Doing Verbs, Helping Verbs and Pro-Verbs

It’s been my privilege and my pleasure over the years to occasionally teach some Language Arts classes for the 5th and 6th graders at the Christian school which resides in our church. It’s one of my favorite things to do. I love how fun language can be, and how it helps us to see, well, to see just about everything in a new light. I mean, language is that thing that gives us a way to talk about that, “something to talk about” we are always wanting to give people. (Insert song now playing in my head here!)

Verbs always seem to throw our kids (and their parents) for a loop. There are just so many– so many different kinds, and so many different tenses, and it can be really hard to know how to use which ones at which time and for what reason.

BEING VERBS
In class, we start by looking at the “being” verbs: am, is, are, was, were, be, being, been. I like to call them the “equal” verbs because you can usually tell if a verb is a “being” verb if you can put an equal sign to your thought. For example, I am a Christian. I = Christian. Yes! Being verbs are all about just that being—being who we are.

DOING VERBS
“Doing” verbs are a lot of fun because they are the action of our life. They are, of course, the things we “do.” I run; I jump; I eat chocolate! You get the picture.

HELPING VERBS
Next we add in the “helping” verbs. Not so simply put: a being or helping + a doing = a verb phrase; and a verb phrase helps to give us a much clearer picture of what we are trying to communicate. For example I can say, “I am writing a blog post now” versus “I write blog post now,” or “I not eat Dove chocolate,” versus “ I am not eating Dove chocolate right now! (But I kind of wish I was. . .)

Yet time and time again, my students will get their “beings” and their “doings” and their “helpings” confused.

Enter spiritual application. . . (Dramatic music inserted here)

We often get our “being” and our “doing” confused as well. We tend to be a little more Martha than Mary, a little more Peter than John. We get so caught up in “doing” for God that we forget all about just “being” who he has called us to be. Before we know it, we get caught up, roped in and burnt out because we have forgotten to add the “helping” of the Holy Spirit to our “being” and “doing.” But when we learn to put all the pieces together, we find that we are beginning to live in such a way that we give the world a clearer picture of what we are trying to communicate—that God loves them so much that He sent His only Son for them.

PROVERBS
One of the best places I know to help ease pendulum swing of either being all “being” or all “doing, “ is in the book of Proverbs. In children’s ministry we call them PRO-VERBS–Sayings in the Bible that are both PRO (like famous, positive and excellent) and have VERBS (teaching us how to be, do and help). When we take a look in The Book, we can always see all kinds of ways that God is showing us how to be like Jesus, do what He wants and help others to know Him. And that that’s something to talk about!

 

One of my favorite Proverbs is in chapter 2 verses 1-8

My son, if you accept my words and store up my commands within you, turning your ear to wisdom and applying your heart to understanding, and if you call out for insight and cry aloud for understanding, and if you look for it as for silver and search for it as for hidden treasure, then you will undertand the fear of the Lord and find the knowledge of God. For the Lord gives wisdom and from His mouth comes knowledge and understanding. He holds victory in store for the upright, He is a shield to those whose walk is blameless, for He guards the course of the just and protects the way of His faithful ones.

Do you have a favorite Proverb? Post it below. . .

I’ve Got a Date With God

Yup! It’s true. I’ve got a date with God, and I’m sooo looking forward to it. Although we spend a quite a bit of time together already, I can’t tell you the last time He and I spent a whole day alone together. In fact, I’m not sure if I’ve ever spent an actual whole, entire, complete day alone with God.

In the same way I have been challenged and stretched to start this blog, I have been challenged and stretched to re-evaluate my schedule and begin to set time apart to for the things that are most important to me. And God is at the top of that list.

It’s no secret I’m a bit of a workaholic. (It’s not that I can’t stop. It’s just that I love what I do!!) However, just like I can’t expect to have a great marriage without some prime time together, I can’t expect to have a great God relationship without the same thing.

I know I need this time, and I know I want this time. I know there are some areas of my life He and I need to walk through and talk through. There are some joys to share, and there needs to be time to just sit together in silence enjoying each other’s company. I don’t know whether my date with the Almighty will be a bit awkward or if it will be the most natural thing in the world, but what I do know is that when I set apart time to meet with the God of the universe, He won’t stand me up. He wants this as much as I do.

Today I got my wedding rings back from the jeweler. It seems that, without me realizing it, over the years my rings have undergone a great deal of wear and tear. I had to have several prongs replaced and some soldering done along with a little restoration work. When I picked up my ring, I hardly recognized it. The repair and cleaning had completely restored my rings to their original brilliance and shine. Under the care of a master craftsman, my rings again reflect their beauty, sparkling in such a way as to leave me in awe and wonder. (And making me think I perhaps could use a manicure!)

Our lives are a bit like that, I think. I mean, we do some basic maintenance, but we often don’t realize what the day to day wear and tear of life has done to us–how fragile we have become, or how near we are to wearing completely through. Whether it’s because of busyness, the challenges of life, misaligned priorities or a lack of realization as to the importance of occasional inspection, we are often completely unaware that we are nearing a danger point.

My ring repair has enabled me to see clearly why it is vital that we take time to schedule some date times with our own Master Craftsman, allowing Him to repair, restore, and realign us. This time, so well spent, allows us the opportunity to lay our lives in His hands and let Him work, restoring us to brilliance, reflecting His light and His love which are in each of us who are His. This time, depending on how we approach it, has the potential to allow those who come upon us to respond with awe and wonder at the glory of who we have become through the skill and care of the One who has restored us.

It is with these thoughts in mind that I look forward with great anticipation to my date with God because I know that I can trust His skillful eye to find and strengthen my weaknesses, restore my areas of dullness to brilliance, and allow me to again reflect the glory of His light through my life.

Tackling Drills 101

It’s no secret there are several things I like alot:  Oreos, a good word picture and football.  Alone, each has its merits, but combine them and you get a fun new blog post and a satisfied chocolate craving.  Lately, it seems like everywhere I go people are tackling problems in their homes, jobs and relationships without much success.   I don’t know whether it’s just winter blues, the cycles of life or not enough Oreos on the shelves of the average home, but I know that we don’t have to let things drag us down. In fact, it can absolutely work the other way around–We can be the ones doing the tackling, instead of the ones getting sacked.  I remember learning a few facts about the fundamentals of tackling  when our son was starting out in football. I thought then, as I do now, that there was a lot I could learn from the basics of tackling.  Here are 3 beginning steps for tackling tough problems that have helped me gain some victory:

1–Start with a good base.  Start by standing firm in Christ. I learned I needed a good stance, firm footing and a strong foundation. I needed to take a stand on the truth of what God’s Word says. I began by memorizing and meditating on His Word and planting myself on what He has promised.

2—Stay Low. In football, staying low gives you the leverage to bring down your opponent. In battling life’s situations, I am continuing to learn to stay low through prayer and humility. No matter what I’m up against, whether it’s something I can control or not, it’s not as big as the God who gives me the power to overcome.

3—Keep your head up and look at what you are tackling. In a game, it’s easy to get off target, and miss the tackle, wind up injured  just like it’s easy to get off target, miss the real issue completely and wind up hurt and confused.  It doesn’t take much to get distracted and  find yourself lost in play.  Remember what it is you need to tackle, and keep after it. In my life, whether I’ve been up against a sin issue, managing my emotions,or  the consequences of poor decisions (mine or someone else’s) I have had to learn to keep my focus and to not let myself get distracted. I have had to keep the voice of my Coach in my head and follow the plan He has set out for me. (See tackling points 1 & 2).

I’m always amazed when I see a great tackle. I love to watch a player get up, flex a little, maybe chest bump a team mate or two, excited over the personal victory. I know it takes humility, strength, skill and wisdom to tackle well and tackle consistantly.  Applying these simple football techniques to my spiritual life has not only given me alot more personal victory, it has kept me from being injured both spiritually and emotionally. And strong individual players make for a stronger team.

It’s not just the season we are in or lack of Oreos that keeps us from victory, often we just need to brush up on the basics. God tells us there will always be things in our lives that need to be tackled, and by picking up the play book we gain the strength, skill, power and wisdom that comes from Him, to tackle whatever comes our way.

My Desire IS Your Will

This morning as I was jotting away in my “20 minutes with Jesus” journal, I wrote down a prayer request concering a struggle I was having and I wrote, ” My Desire vs Your Will.” And I prayed that my desire would be His will–always. I’m always thankful for journaling because I know that whenever I take time to sit down and look with my two little eyes at what I’m really thinking or feeling or struggling with, it becomes clear what the answer is and what I really want. And what I really want is to do what He wants. Nonetheless, there it was in print, “My Desire vs Your Will.”  Or was it?  Apparantly my lack of handwriting skills prevailed today because when I looked back down it surely looked like I had written. “My Desire is Your Will.”  And it was. Answer to prayer. Dun Dun Dun Dun Dun. I’m lovin it!