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Cook Your Bacon Unto the Lord

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Dishes, laundry, cooking, cleaning, teaching, chasing kids-- more laundry.  Eat, sleep, repeat.

This is my daily life.   

Ok, sometimes it just seems like this is all there is to my life.  Sometimes it feels mundane, if I can be brutally honest.  Discontentment can creep in, wanting something different and something more than the predictable day-to-day tasks.  The enemy whispers in my ear that I’m not doing enough for the Lord-- that what I’m doing at home doesn’t really matter because it’s not noticed by others or reaching thousands of people.  I mean, I’m “just” a mom!

Can you relate?  Maybe you’re in a rut and are just going through the motions like I so often do.  Maybe you compare yourself to others who seem to have it all together and wish you could swap places.  The grass is always greener on the other side, right?  

Not. So. Fast.  

Friend, as long as you are walking with the Lord, He has you right where you need to be, doing exactly what you need to do in this season.  He has gifted you with a specific purpose in this life.  Bloom where you are planted.  

Luke 16:10a says, “He who is faithful in what is least is faithful also in much.”  

Are you being faithful with what God has called you to do TODAY?  

Even if it’s just a load of laundry, changing a diaper, or raking leaves-- you just never know how God will use your past and present circumstances for the future.  We can't allow discontentment in, causing us to constantly be wishing for something different and exciting to happen in the future.  We aren't even promised tomorrow.  What counts is how we are living for Him TODAY

Matt touched on this in a recent sermon.  What should we do while we’re waiting on the Lord?  See if you can find the common thread in each of these examples from the Bible:

  1. Ruth was gathering grain in the field when God brought Boaz, her future husband, into her life. (Ruth 2)
  2. David was feeding his sheep and bringing lunch to his brothers when God called him to battle Goliath and later become King of Israel. (1 Samuel 17)
  3. Joseph was caring for his sheep along with his brothers when he shared with them the dreams God had given him, showing a glimpse of his future reign over Egypt. (Genesis 37)
  4. Moses was tending to his father-in-law’s flock of sheep when God called to him from the burning bush and put him in the position to lead Israel out of slavery. (Exodus 3)
  5. Elisha was plowing his field when Elijah passed his ministry on to him. (1 Kings 19:19)
  6. Peter and Andrew were casting their nets when Jesus called them to follow Him; James and John were mending their nets when Jesus called them.  (Matthew 4:18-22)
  7. Noah was walking with God when He asked him to build the ark. (Genesis 6)

Do you see it?  Gathering, feeding others, caring for, pouring out, tending to, plowing, casting, mending, walking.  All these people were DOING something!  They weren’t sitting around lazily, hoping for something amazing to drop into their laps.  

In fact, God used, called, and answered these ordinary people when they were doing their normal, day-to-day, seemingly mundane and unnoticed activities.  

They were actively carrying out what God had already called them to do!  These are the things we should all be doing - caring for and feeding one another spiritually, plowing up the hard spots in our hearts, sharing the gospel, walking with the Lord.  Colossians 3:23-24 says, “And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance; for you serve the Lord Christ.”  He rewards our diligent service unto Him, no matter how big or small!

One evening as I was cooking dinner, David told me, “Cook your bacon unto the Lord!” which I still laugh about today, but what truth there is in this statement!  We should work for the Lord in all that we do, big or small.  He sees it all.  It all matters to Him.  He knows our motives.  And it’s our choice how we go about our day.  We can choose to work while having a stubborn, grumbling, resentful heart.  Or we can choose to work as unto the Lord, with a sweet, grateful, willing heart.

Whether you are serving the Lord by taking care of your family at home or are doing missionary work overseas, He will use it all for His glory if you’re faithfully doing it for Him.  1 Corinthians 15:58 says, “Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord.”

I challenge you (and myself!) this week:  Rather than just “getting through your day,” purpose to do every daily task for the Lord, no matter how big or small.  See how your attitude changes-- how you suddenly become joyful about your work.  “Your labor is not in vain in the Lord!”  

in Family

Letters to my son - Introduction

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O' my son! 

This year has been a crazy one...you've really stirred the waters! I was beginning to wonder if being a father was in God's plan for me. I mean, I have to admit, the thought of changing another human being's poopy diapers was exactly bucket list material for me. You're too young to know, but the hard rock wall between your grandpa and I, that definitely made me wonder... What if? What if I do have a son and he grows up to want nothing to do with me to live a totally different life, could I take that? I believe that little by little God was preparing me for the responsibility of leading you and Mom, of guiding you both spiritually, and of loving you both sacrificially. I have to say, though, that once you "made your entrance," a lot of those questions kind of faded away. 

 

Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord,
The fruit of the womb is a reward.


Like arrows in the hand of a warrior,
So are the children of one’s youth.

 

- Psalm 127:3-4

I guess I never really saw having children as a reward, but I totally do now! I look at the above verse and think of arrows in a warrior's hand, how they must give Him purpose, envigorate Him, and propel Him forward in being a warrior. Son, you have given me more purpose to persevere in my walk with Jesus. It hasn't all been roses these last seven months! Oh boy, I thought I knew what exhaustion was, but I had no idea. Never have I seen someone so demanding over for milk! I mean, milk isn't THAT great is it? The only other person I know who seems to love soft things as much as you is your mother... waking both of you up in the climax of your nap is a BAD IDEA!!! 

Oh, but there are so many awesome things about you! You love to giggle when I make goofy sounds and faces... and I'm pretty stoked that only I can make you laugh that way. You don't give up easily! Watching you trying to master crawling is like watching a fish flop around on dry land! You got it down, eventually, but I love that you didn't give up. 

 I want to start writing you through these blogs with the hopes that, as God teaches me new and exciting things through being a parent, you will one day grow to know His heart AND my heart through them. I KNOW, I KNOW I can be an overly sentimental dude! You will just have to get used to it. Sorry, I am now stuck with you...the good and the stinky... so I guess that means for the next 18 years you are also stuck with me.

I guess the first thing God's taught me and I want to leave with you is this. It may be difficult to be a parent, but not hard to love you. It may be taxing when you won't be still and let me put a fresh diaper on you, but I enjoy each second. I have come to see a parallel these last seven months between being a parent, and my relationship with the Lord. How come the Lord's mercies fail not? We can be such boneheads!! How can God be so gracious? I know that God's purpose, at least in part, in allowing couples to have children is to give us a window into His own heart towards us. We may be able to vicariously look into other's lives and imagine God's fatherly heart towards His beloved children when we see them love their own children so deeply, but we will never know fully until we experience it ourselves. 

In short, you are a gift as the verse above said...a demanding one, but just the one I needed to draw nearer to God and understand His heart in a new and fresh way. 

 

Love your Father,

James Stroud

 

 17 Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning.

 

- James 1:17

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted by James Stroud with