Friday, October 29, 2010

Preacher's Kid

There is a lot of pressure on preacher’s kids.  (Face it—we're oddballs.)  We are supposed to act different, talk different, think different, watch different movies, listen to different music, wear different clothes, have different friends and families, read different books, and so on.  It all comes down to behavior.  Sometimes we may be referred to as weird.  On the other hand, if we don't live up to our expectations, we're scoffed at even more for not being a representative of Christ.  Suddenly, we're ironic.  Perhaps there isn't any truth to this Christian business after all.  Isn't that a truce broken in our Salt and Light mandate? (Matthew 5:13-16)

Being any kind of Christian in a humanistic world is hard.  I'm not talking about wishy-washy hypocritical Christians who proclaim good works in the streets and practice sin in their homes.  They may write a bestseller book with a big cheesy smile on the cover, but it doesn't mean they are right, honest, or Christ-like (Matthew 7:15, 21-23). Recognition by the secular world does not mean they accept Christianity.  In fact, Jesus said that we would be persecuted and reviled for His sake.  (Matthew 5:11; 10:22)  If the world didn't accept its Saviour when He came, why should it accept His disciples?

"Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves." 
~Matthew 10:16

Yes, I'm a preacher's kid.  In addition, I am also a young woman living in a secular world.  I feel the pressure hitting me like a ton of bricks.  But I'm no different from y'all.  There's only one thing that makes me different from the world's young people.  Yep, you guessed it.  I'm a preacher's kid.

No, I'm not ashamed of my heritage.  My father is a pastor, my grandpa is a pastor, and one of my great-great-great-grandfathers was a pastor.  There are even more scattered throughout our ancestors.  The point is this: my life has been intertwined with God in the midst of it.  I'm a preacher's kid of a preacher's kid.  Where's the shame in that?  I'm proud of it.

The only thing I regret is my poor ability for handling certain situations.  I've stuck my foot in my mouth, I've stood back and followed the crowd, I've not been a leader, and I've spurted some pretty crazy ideas. (Just ask my mom.)  Right now I wish I had charged full ahead into my insecurities...but I didn't.  There have been many times I've wished to go back and redo my life.  Of course, we always wish for the impossible.

Although I may not be where I wish to be, I'd say I've come a long way in some areas.  Two years ago I never would have imagined this blog, my writing, our traipse through Georgia, the beginning of Covenant Baptist Church and Covenant Commission, the birth of Liberty (my baby sister), my 16th birthday (two years ago it seemed like forever), the crazy ups and downs of life...hey, even my photography!  Life is peculiar sometimes, isn't it? 

However, I could really better myself.  I may be swept up into the pressure of being a preacher's kid sometimes, but I don't have to be.  What I am can be a good thing.

Every aspect of this world has tribulation.  We may be hit with tragedy, trial, sorrow, or pain, but Christ foretold that these things would happen.

"These things I have spoken unto you, that in Me ye might have peace.  In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world."  ~John 16:33

 Isn't that comforting?

"What shall we then say to these things?  If God be for us, who can be against us?" 
~Romans 8:31

The world’s opinion should not matter to us.  Why should we care about the opinions of those who reject our Saviour and faith?

While we are to be God's witnesses for the gospel, the world just hardens their hearts against us.  From history, we can learn that tribulation worketh patience (Romans 5:3).  From the lives of the martyrs we see glory and fortitude and everlasting life.  They received their crown with the words "well done, thou good and faithful servant" for their service in the kingdom.  What is our persecution compared to theirs?  True, mental stress can be just as horrible as physical pain, but have we ever suffered starvation in a cold, damp dungeon, or felt the flames rise higher and higher around our legs?  Nor have we been tortured for Christ's sake in a country wholly hostile to Jesus.  Think again when all seems lost.  We live freely (for the most part anyway), breathe the clean air every day, walk wherever we please unconstrained, and worship God wherever we will.  How long our freedoms will last, God only knows.  For now we ought to be profoundly thankful that we live, and move, and have our being, for it is all through Jesus Christ. 
Anyway, Paul's words should give us comfort: 

"For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us."  ~Romans 8:18  

That is saying a lot, considering all that Paul went through - beatings, a stoning, being left for dead, thrown into prison, and eventually beheaded—all for Christ's sake.  Surely we can bear our burdens easier when we really give it some thought.

So, I may be a preacher's kid with all its peculiar pressures, but I've found out that life is much better when I have a positive outlook.   Who cares if I'm a little bizarre?  I'm a preacher's kid, what do you expect?

"Now thanks be unto God, which always causeth us to triumph in Christ, and maketh manifest the savor of His knowledge by us in every place." 
~2Corinthians 2:14

There is nothing sweeter than Scripture for a troubled heart.  God really is good.  But He is also just.  He destroys the wicked and cannot tolerate sin, yet He is faithful to those who love Him.  His words to us are sweeter than honey. (Psalm 19:7-11)  I believe He would rather see a smile on our faces and joyfully praising Him than to have a "woe is me" mentality.

I'm sure preachers kids can relate.  It's awfully hard to live up to high expectations when our nature is sinful.  Sometimes we are given bad names because of what we are.  The bad names really come from preachers kids who don't fulfill their God-given duty.  I may fail many times, but I don't like being categorized in that lot.   Sometimes it seems like we have to endure more than we can handle.  However, Jesus said we will not be tempted with more than we are able.  Hallelujah! Through Christ, we will conquer over all!

"Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?  As it is written, for Thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.  Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him that loved us.  For I am persuaded that neither heath, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature shall be able to separate s from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord."  ~Romans 8:35

Tuesday, October 26, 2010


"TeaTime" ticks the clock
The little birdie tweets a tune
The linen is pressed, the dishes washed
Oh look! There's one dirty spoon

Dirty faces are washed
Little grubby hands are clean
TeaTime is here, so don't delay
Company has not yet been seen

The tea in the pot is simmering
The little cakes are newly made
The chinaware shines like gold
The napkins have been laid

A smile shines on our faces
To greet our friends so dear
Oh look, I see their carriage!
Now they're finally here

We all laugh and talk and sing
And sip our golden tea
These gay times we have- oh what fun!
I bounce the baby on my knee

Too soon they all must go
TeaTime has come to an end
We wave goodbye until next time
Thank God for the time we spend

The clock keeps on ticking
But TeaTime has gone
Dad will be home soon
Tomorrow's a new dawn

TeaTime, though past
Is a highlight of our day
Thank You, God, for life and love
Its beauty we'll always pay

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Let Me Hold Your Hand, Daddy

Let me hold Your hand, Daddy,
The road is long and hard;
My feet are sore, my hands are cold,
These feet can't go another yard.

My little-girl-legs are tired,
I can't go on much more;
Daddy, Your hand is stronger than mine,
I wish there was an easier door! 

Daddy, I'm scared of the dark,
I need Your light to see my path;
There are ravening wolves out to eat me,
Save me from their wrath!

Daddy, I need Your unfailing love,
I want to hear Your tender voice;
But Satan tempts me with a lie,
Oh help me make the right choice!

Tribulation works patience,
But mine is very thin;
This ice is cracking steadily,
I do not want death to win.

Let me hold Your hand, Daddy,
I see a bend in the road;
Whatever lies ahead of me,
I need You to ease my load.

Let me hold Your hand, Daddy,
The light finally draws near;
Your hand- so strong and warm
Makes me feel I"m dear.

Let me hold Your hand, Daddy,
You're the Rock I lean upon;
Though life may sometimes be difficult,
Your strength I must don.

Daddy, in Your hands I"m safe,
I need not fear a lie;
You'll watch over me always,
No more tears will I cry.

Friday, October 15, 2010

God's Infinite Omniscience

It seems like every Sunday I express the same thought.

I wish everybody could have heard Daddy's sermon.

No, I'm not being judgmental.  I need biblical advice more than anyone.  Trust me.  But, the message was just so good that I wanted to share it.  Unfortunately, we have a very small congregation right now.  I'm not dissing small congregations...well, maybe you understand.  I'm thankful Covenant Baptist Church has grown a little bit in the past year, but I still can't help wishing more people could hear Daddy preach.  Yeah, he's that good.

I'm not saying he is perfect.  However, I'm prejudiced.  After all, he is my father.  I'm proud of him, if you don't know.

I could naively say every Sunday is an exception.  He outdid himself again.  Being young and inexperienced (even for 16); there are many things I don't comprehend.  I know many people say the gospel is easy to understand.  Didn't Jesus say that we are to have faith as a little child?  In Matthew 18:3 He also said, "Verily I say unto you, except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven."   On the other hand, there are many who would claim the incomprehensibleness of the gospel.  There are always two sides in every matter. (Matthew 12:30)  However, the harder to understand concepts can be a little confusing to a naive young woman such as I am.  Take for example, the differences between postmillennialism, pre-millennialism, and amillennialism; all the different worldview "isms": Calvinism, Judaism, communism, fascism, Marxism, socialism, etc. etc.   I may be a preacher's kid (another article topic coming up, folks!), but most times I feel dumber than a box of rocks. (My dad's metaphor.)  I think I need a Dummies Guide to Life.  Ha. Ha.  Is it all the pressure?  I read many books, but sometimes they set me to wondering if I really have what it takes.  If I don't understand something, I'm automatically d-u-m-b.  It's just the way I roll and the way my brain works.  Self-consciousness maybe?  Don't I believe everyone has a limit in knowledge?  (My limit must be pretty small. Shh!)

The text was taken from Romans 8:28-30.  A Reformed Christian believer would know this passage contains God's grace and foreknowledge of the elect.

"And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to His purpose.  For whom He did foreknow, He also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren.  Moreover, whom He did predestinate, them He also called: and whom He called, them He also justified: and whom He justified, them He also glorified."  

As my dad said, there isn't any way anyone can walk away from Romans 8 & 9 and deny God's grace and foreknowledge of His elect.  Even before the world began, God chose us from the very foundation of the earth.  He settled our lives beforehand.  He knew Adam would bring sin into the world, but He also knew the second Adam would bring life.  He knew our thoughts before we lived, and He even knows the very number of hairs on our head. (Matthew 10:30; Luke 12:7)

Before the world began.  That's a long time span in our finite understanding.  Somewhere around 6,000 years ago, when God first created the universe, He knew us - what we would be and become - even our very actions and thoughts this day!  Isn't His omniscience grand!  To know that He knew us before the world began is amazing!  I could stop here and let y'all falsely misconstrue my meaning.  However, let's look at the meaning of this word "know."

There are several different meanings of the word "know."  To know someone intimately is to be familiar with their ways.  Brothers and sisters know each other.  Friends know and love each other closely.  Husbands and wives know each other.  All of these are the same word “know” yet have somewhat different meanings.

Then there is an acquaintance relationship.  To meet someone for the first time is to get to know them, although not yet personally.  To know your friend is more than you know an acquaintance.  To know your family is more than you do your friend.  God is the One with ultimate knowledge.  My dad used this example:  God knew who Hitler was, yet He didn't know him in a personal relationship.  God already knew what Hitler would do before he did it, but God didn't reign in Hitler's heart.  Adolf Hitler reigned there instead.

On the other hand, God knows His children intimately.  He speaks to them through His word and listens when they pray.  His elect have a relationship with Christ that the rest of the world does not.  God knows the thoughts and intents in every man's heart, but each relationship is different. To know is to know, but how much do we exactly know?  There is a big part of us that we don't want anyone to really know about.  Oh sure, we're all sinners, but we wouldn't dare display that particular part about us.  We can't know any heart other than our own.  God, however, knows everything.  He preordained the whole world for His glory.

"In whom we also have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of Him who worketh all things after the counsel of His own will."  ~Ephesians 1:11

Who can say that man can will/do whatever he pleases?  Can a finite mind overpower the infinite?

My advice is this: don't trust in what just anybody says.  Even what I say, don't take for granted.  The Bible gives the best advice on what to do.  "Search the scriptures."  (John 5:39)  Only the Bible can give the correct answer.  My reasoning has to be corroborated with Scripture, and so does everything else.  The Bible warns us against false philosophy.

"Beware lest any man spoil you though philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ."  ~Colossians 2:8

The truth will set us free.  But what is truth?  Pilate couldn't find the answer.  However, Jesus said in John 14:6 that He is the way, the truth, and the life.  Because Jesus Christ is truth (for He cannot lie), so is His word.  Sola Scriptura ultimately means Scripture Alone.  Scripture alone can show us truth, for Jesus said His word is truth.

Because God knows His children, He also cares for them.  When we believe in His love and mercy, we can rest assured in His unfailing grace that gives us life.

(Paraphrased from September 26's sermon by James Brown Jr.)

Thursday, October 7, 2010


Life is reality
Only stories are make-believe
Life isn't a fairytale
Though sometimes we're naive

Yes, love is grand
But distrust kills the heart
Love means to trust
So don't throw the dart

A smile that is radiant
Will cheer a gloomy soul
But a frown and a scoffer
Will dig a deeper hole

True beauty is rare
All seek fame
But God looks inside
He knows each individual name

A bird's glad song
Means Spring is on its way
But when the bird flies South
Winter takes over Day

God is very real
Only by faith we believe
Good works are not enough
His grace we shall receive

Only God is infinite
Man cannot comprehend
Mankind is only finite
God's love He will kindly lend

What God has given
Many may take a piece
But some secrets are hidden deep
Those He does not lease

Reality is sometimes harsh
But love covers all sin
Life is still precious
Though we cannot always win

Monday, October 4, 2010

The Master of the Reel

The birds of the air
The fish in the sea
The little turtledoves
All hold the Master's key

The snail's sluggish pace
The gazelle's graceful leap
The baby tiger's growl
All of the Master seep

The sun's slow descent
The moon's smiling face
The star's twinkling laughter
Farther than the world they race

The whole earth trembles
All creation sings
Every knee has bowed
As the trumpet's clear note rings

O hail, Master Glorious!
Unto You we all kneel
Every tongue declares Your name
You're the Master of the Reel

Writer's Note:
"Reel" is referring to a dance.