When the Going Gets Tough, Part 3

Cindi Gale

If you know your position is righteous, you’ve made your point and your opinion is clear, but your child simply won’t accept it, you may have to let him have his way. Let him suffer the consequences, within reason. That’s still not giving up on him. There’s still hope going on there. Suffering consequences can be convincing where nothing else is.

It was not what you wanted to do and it pains you to know that trouble could have been averted, but he (or she) has insisted on his way. If you don’t give up the effort, the more you try, the more he will fight you. Some will fight to extremes you don’t want to go to, and will not give in to you. Some will become a worse person simply to win, so to give up the fight eliminates the conditions for his unrighteousness to become firmly established.

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When the Going Gets Tough, Part 2

Cindi Gale

Parenting children leaves little to no room for selfishness or neglect. I don’t mean neglecting THINGS — a messy house is just a thing — I’m talking about neglecting kids. Children at every age need love; they also need us to tackle attitude and behavioral issues.

Parenting difficult and oppositional children is especially demanding. Those who have done it know it is brutal. They can be a Parent Extraordinaire, but if their child applies his strong will to foolishness, they will often be measured not by their herculean parenting efforts but by the behavior of their child. The best of parents can be deemed a “bad parent”. It’s one of those horrible injustices inflicted on undeserving parents, because … well, people can be stupid.

Those who have been mistreated this way … Ignore the critics. Carry on. Your child’s excellent future depends on it.

Parents of obstinate, rebellious, or insolent children need…

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When the Going Gets Tough, Part 1

Cindi Gale

This three-part post addresses parents of difficult children, but can be generalized to apply to anyone hoping to influence a person who is morally ambivalent.

When a child’s alarming behavior threatens to establish itself as permanent traits through repetition, someone who cares is desperately needed to intervene on behalf of the child’s character and future. Tragically, some parents are so minimally invested in their kids or their standards are so low for them, that they are nonchalant about their own child’s highly concerning character and behaviors.

Those parents who do intervene are often criticized by those who have no comprehension of the child’s willfulness. Some kids are determined to sabotage their own lives and the peace of their family. Their parents’ words might be anything but sweet, but appropriate and necessary in a situation worthy of disapproval.

To an outsider who gets only a snapshot of a committed parent and child in a…

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The Time For Power

Cindi Gale

There is a God-appointed time when a person is ready to reign in his life’s call, and God chooses to supply His power, leadership and support. At that time, old or new enemies part and even flee in fear.

Prior to the appointed time, David lacked the full authority, leadership, wisdom and skills to gain and maintain power. While evading Saul, he was developing all that. Once his abilities were adequate for the job, he was positioned by God to remove the remaining opposition. Finally, the fullness of David’s ability to reign had its appointed time. When it was the time for David to take the throne that Saul had occupied, God was with him to successfully manage the kingdom. He became King in place of Saul. He put his skills to use and God was with him. Nations that were accustomed to superior might became powerless to overthrow David.

What…

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We Plan, God Prevails

Cindi Gale

Living in the landlocked heartland of the United States, I don’t often experience oceans. So during a visit to Mexico recently, I savored the sounds: the rolling waves of the North Atlantic lapping the shore, the calls of unfamiliar birds; the sights: sublime blues, greens and aquas; the sensations: warmth and dynamic, soothing sand underfoot.

There were kayaks and baby catamarans for us to journey a few hundred yards from shore. On each exertion, the swells of the waves lifted and rested, rocked and settled the small crafts. Had the winds been stronger and the waves more forceful, we would have been challenged to paddle or sail on course. But the days were merely breezy — it was on one of those afternoons while kayaking the gentle, stable swells, that a scripture came to mind:

“Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the LORD’s purpose that prevails.”

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The Last Will Be First

Cindi Gale

Matthew 20:16 – “So the last will be first, and the first will be last.”

Does it matter if someone’s promises from God were fulfilled quickly, when others endured decades before their arrival? It’s not up to us to measure the fairness of that.

Isaiah 55:8 – “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the LORD.

Should a person disqualify himself because he thinks he should earn seniority? Should he anticipate what God may do, by corporate standards? Should he reject an offer that others “earned” by being faithful longer?

That would be a huge shame, a tragic waste of an opportunity. He should take what God offers even if he has suffered little, waited less, or believed only briefly compared to others.

Those who endured much didn’t do so without gain. Those who remained hopeful of God through challenging circumstances, amassed patience, character…

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Adoption

One day last month, my oldest son arrived on an inbound Megabus. After breakfast on the final full day of his visit, I asked, “Do you want to relax at home today or go do something?”

“I could do something. Like what?”

“I don’t know. Maybe stop in at the animal shelter?”

“Okay, let’s do that.”

Moments later he was calling his landlord to ask if it was alright to adopt a cat. (The rental contract said clearly that no pets were allowed.)

“Yes, of course,” his cheerful landlord replied, “It’s your home!”

Well okay then, the landlord doesn’t abide by his own rental contract. So off we went to the local shelter.

It required all of two seconds for my son to spot his cat. Of the twenty or so felines in the cat room, only two were awake — the rest curled in cozy nooks and crannies, or sprawled on platforms and kitty trees, napping.

In the time it took me to pick up the other wakeful kitty and snuggle her under my chin, my son and his cat were already getting down to business:  Pictures were taken and sent to his girlfriend. Approval from her was promptly received. Forms were filled out. An interview was completed. The adoption fee was paid.

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The shelter staff had named the big guy Pronto. It turned out that pronto exactly described his adoption.

A carrier was loaned to us by the awesome shelter people. Pronto was put in it for the short car ride to my house, and again the next day for the longer trip to his permanent home.

In his new digs — a spacious, sunny, third-floor apartment in the city — Pronto took a brief tour, spotted a room bathed in sunlight, jumped on the bed, groomed for a bit, and fell into a peaceful “I’ve always lived here” slumber. He was still there several hours later when I left for home.

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I am told Pronto is now called Lil’ Big Dog — LBD for short. He is so big his humans feel bad for the downstairs neighbors; his feet pound the floors on his frequent romps through the apartment. His impressive adaptability has continued unabated, with nary a moment of anxiety or need for an adjustment period.

He simply, instantly belonged.

Where my son and his girlfriend are in the apartment, there you will find Lil’ Big Dog. He could be alone if he wants — there are tons of great hiding places in his new home — but he likes to be at their feet or on their laps. From the second they met, they were family.

And now my point of sharing this story with you …

Did you know that God welcomes us into his family, and in the Bible it is explained as “adoption”? When you first read it in Ephesians 1, it sounds complicated, but it’s really not.

It’s as simple as my son and his girlfriend choosing Lil’ Big Dog, and Lil’ Big Dog letting himself be chosen. It’s as simple as Lil’ Big dog having the option to be alone but wanting to be at his humans’ feet or on their laps.

It’s called relationship, and we get to have it with God, the Creator of the universe. We are instantly adopted into his family and are heirs of all that is his. He chooses us. We have only to let him choose us, to accept our adoption. We have this option because of what Jesus did for us when he became a sacrifice for our sins — Jesus already paid the adoption fee.

Adoption by God happens in an instant – pronto.

It’s a simple as that.

Praise for Spiritual Blessings in Christ – Ephesians 1

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ.For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love he predestined us for adoption to sonship through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will— to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves. In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace that he lavished on us. With all wisdom and understanding, he made known to us the mystery of his will according to his good pleasure, which he purposed in Christ, 10 to be put into effect when the times reach their fulfillment—to bring unity to all things in heaven and on earth under Christ.

11 In him we were also chosen, having been predestined according to the plan of him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will, 12 in order that we, who were the first to put our hope in Christ, might be for the praise of his glory. 13 And you also were included in Christ when you heard the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation. When you believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, 14 who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession—to the praise of his glory.


Cross references:

Heirs with Christ Romans 8:17
16The Spirit Himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children. 17And if we are children, then we are heirs: heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ — if indeed we suffer with Him, so that we may also be glorified with Him. 18I consider that our present sufferings are not comparable to the glory that will be revealed in us.…

Acts 20:32
And now I commit you to God and to the word of His grace, which can build you up and give you an inheritance among all who are sanctified.

 

2 Corinthians 1:5
For just as the sufferings of Christ overflow to us, so also through Christ our comfort overflows.

Galatians 3:29
And if you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s seed and heirs according to the promise.

Galatians 4:7
So you are no longer a slave, but a son; and since you are a son, you are also an heir through God.

Ephesians 3:6
This mystery is that through the gospel the Gentiles are fellow heirs, fellow members of the body, and fellow partakers of the promise in Christ Jesus.

Titus 3:7
so that, having been justified by His grace, we would become heirs with the hope of eternal life.