Sunday, June 12, 2011

Not By Good Works

As I was laying in bed last night trying to sleep, I couldn't stop thinking about how we, God's children, are NOT saved by good works.  That is a lie.  It states in scripture that we are saved by Jesus' grace. 

Therefore do not be ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me His prisoner, but share with me in the sufferings for the gospel according to the power of God, 9 who has saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace which was given to us in Christ Jesus before time began, 10 but has now been revealed by the appearing of our Savior Jesus Christ, who has abolished death and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel  2 Timothy 1:8-10

I mean, how good is good enough?  A lot of folks have given up on even pursuing God because they cannot stop sinning, and they feel that they don't "do enough good things, so why should I even try?"  Do not buy into this lie.  IF YOU HAVE ACCEPTED CHRIST IN YOUR HEART, AND YOU HAVE A PERSONAL RELATIONSHIP WITH HIM, YOU ARE SAVE BY GRACE!  AND IF YOU HAVEN'T ACCEPTED HIM, WHY NOT TRY?  IT'S NEVER TOO LATE, AS LONG AS YOU HAVE BREATH WITHIN YOU.

What if we were saved by good works?  I mean, how many does it take?  What if it took 12,687 good works to get to heaven?  But let's say you get to 10,456 good works and you suddenly die from a heart attack?  That wouldn't be fair, now would it?  And what about the precious children who perish?  They wouldn't be saved either.  God is fair and just, and he wishes that none shall perish.  NOT A ONE OF YOU! 

The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.  2 Peter 3:9

Concerning children, I firmly believe that ALL children who perish do automatically go to heaven.  Afterall, Jesus loved the little children so much, that he gave us guidance to be as innocent children.  To have faith as a child has faith.

But Jesus said, Suffer little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me: for of such is the kingdom of heaven.  Matthew 19:14

Now with that said, what I have written was inspired by the these are NOT my words.  They are words written in His Word, the Bible, and thoughts He has laid on my heart.  You may wonder, okay, so I just accept Him into my heart and so I'm all good acts have to be done?  Wrong.  Once one has wholeheartedly accepted Christ, has an intimate relationship with the Father, then one leans towards loving others more than themselves.  You see, a person becomes humbled, and wants to have the heart of Jesus, because he or she loves Him so much!  And when this person has this much love within them, it's sort of like an automatic thing--the whole good works issue.  Good works feel better than going shopping for meaningless stuff that will end up boring us down the road.  Good works are more rewarding that puffing up ourselves and being conceited.  Good works feel better than going out and getting intoxicated.

This doesn't mean that we won't go through seasons in life where we are sort of just there, laying in the hands of Jesus, not giving a lot back to others.  This has been my experience this past year in walking my grief journey.  There will be many seasons of life that we pass through.  Marriage, raising children, trials, happy times, loss, etc.  It's that we learn and grow and find the trials as opportunities rather than life altering to the point of never giving back to others in order to glorify Him.  I believe that ALL trials can be used to further the Kingdom.  We just have to be still and lean on Him. 

You are ALL worthy of His love.  It is my hope that none of us shall perish, but that we all shall have a glorious life lived in eternity, such as how my precious son Ethan is now living.  God bless you all!

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Please Be Safe!!!

Temperatures are soaring outside, and that means that most folks will spend more time outside.  Along with the fun in the some comes a lot of water activities.  I want to urge you all to be very careful.  I hope a life or two or more can be saved from our tragedy.

It's unfortunate that there will be drowning tragedies.  We were one of those statistics last summer, but you don't have to be a statistic.  Ethan was well supervised, I just want to emphasize that to, in a way, scare you into being extra, extra careful.  There were many adults around the pool, and Ethan was being supervised.  Let me say that again...he was supervised, and yet he still drowned.

After losing Ethan, I searched the internet for other moms who had lost children to drowning.  While the vast majority of children lost in this manner are toddlers who got out of their parent's/guardian's line of vision (and we as parents know how hard and impossible it is to have our eyes on them every single moment of every day) and fell into a pool, I have found a few instances where children who were trained to swim AND were swimming with adult supervision, still drowned.

The very best advice I can give is that we must not have one single distraction when children are in the pool.  At least one adult must be the lifeguard, meaning that this designated person is constantly watching and NOT engaging in a conversation or any other distraction.  Nothing.  Only watching. Period.  Here's why:  drowning isn't what it looks like in movies and TV shows.  It's a silent killer. 

Also, do not be mislead into thinking that since your child has had a few swimming lessons, that they are okay to swim alone or with less supervision.  One summer's worth of lessons is not sufficient.  Learning to swim is an ongoing process.

Another very scary thing that I have heard of is children who have nearly drowned at swimming lessons, with the instructor close by.  DO NOT leave the area.  Stay and supervise at ALL times!  Do not engage in conversation.  Be watchful at all times.  One instructor with 4 children isn't sufficient supervision, even if the swim school assures you it safe and stay!

And lastly, and most importantly, if you own a pool, please consider putting up one or more barriers to prevent a child falling in.  Also, if you intend on having guests over to swim, you MUST set up rules for your pool, and you must be diligent! 

I would never want anyone to go through what we have been through.  It changes you down to the very core of your soul.  Though I know that the Lord has been glorified throughout the past year, and many have turned to Christ because of Ethan's testimony...I do not want this to happen to YOU! 


God bless you all.