Monday, May 18, 2009

"Tighten our Church"

When our oldest child was born, Ric and I decided that we wanted to try to pray as a family every night. I can honestly say that we have done a decent job with that. It is important to us and also to our kids. As they grew older we began doing a family devotion with them or reading scripture. Recently we have started to go through a new book with the kids that great friends of ours, Jarrod and Courtney Everson, recommended. It is called Big Truths for Little Kids. It is stories and catechisms, which are basically questions that teach basic truths of the Christian faith to your children. Questions about God…the Bible…the Trinity….Jesus…well you see where I am going. Needless to say they are awesome and our kids are not only learning the answers, which have to be said word for word, but they are getting an unreal understanding for God. I am right there with them learning the answers and yes, they beat me to punch more times than not. It is amazing the things that little ones can not only learn but retain!

After we go through the catechisms and story, we then pray as a family. Each kid prays (except Jesse), followed by me and then Ric. It is such a great time for us and I am absolutely loving it. I love to hear the prayers of my children. Sometimes they have more insight on things than me(yes I know that is hard to believe with me being so smart and all….not)! They love to pray for our family, friends, protection over their sleep and dreams(which Charlie always prays because he gets scared at night), teachers, and really whatever else comes to their minds that night.

About 3 or 4 nights ago Shelby had started us off and she was praying for all of her usual things...Nana, Popa, Jesse, Nemaw, Pops, Addie, Charlie, Sadie(our dog), Georgia(the cat that is seriously on it's last leg with me) and then she prayed this "God….would you tighten our church". God immediately brought a lump to my throat at those words. How does a three year old know that our church needs to be tightened? How does she know that all churches, including ours, need unity and that it should be prayed for? I don't know, but God used her to show me that I need to be praying that faithfully, even more now. He showed me that right now, we need to be tightened. I began to think of the word tighten and so many things came to my mind.

I have recently been working to get the rest of this baby weight off (yes, I know you all don't care about my weight loss…just bare with me) and I noticed I had to tighten my belt the other day. Why did I have to do that? Well, first and foremost so my pants don't fall off…and well, just so that I felt secure and cinched in! Just like I have to tighten my belt so I don't lose my pants….we as a church have to tighten things up too so we don't lose anyone…so that no one falls to the wayside…so that we are focused on one purpose...unified. I think we need to feel secure in our churches…that we need to be cinched in. I also thought about the many times as a kid that my brother would tie my sled to the back of the three wheeler so that he could drag me through the snow. One thing we always did was make sure that rope was super tight! Why did we do that? So that I wouldn't go flying across the field out of control(which I did on several occasions). Sometimes the rope that is pulling us starts to come undone and we find ourselves getting out of control. When we are cinched in…tightened….we are closer to each other, thus making it harder to fall down, to the wayside, or just simply out of control. We are one body…serving one purpose…and that is plainly to Glorify our God in ALL things! We know what all means….all means all 'cause that's all that all can mean!!!

I am so grateful to God that He uses my kids to teach me things, to humble me, and to strengthen my prayer life. That He shows me things that make me want to walk closer with Him. I most of all am grateful that our children pray and that they have been developing a prayer life, that now at 3, 6 and 7, is consistent.

I pray today that our church " would be tightened" so snugly that we can't help but to grow and increase, individually and corporately!

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