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We were just blessed with our first family pet, and over and over I am reminded of how gracious God is to us. We do not deserve anything good, yet God lavishes His own goodness on us. Beyond that, He is pleased to gift us with sweet gifts of temporal pleasure… including bunnies.

We’re our salvation the only thing we receive from God, we ought to be forever and all of his goodness. That he would also gift us with temporal sweetness should someone our eternal awe.

We have been given so many wonderful little things that should direct our attention to the heart of God. Just as pain is ordained to draw us closer to Jesus, so also comfort and sweetness is orchestrated to show us His character.

CHALLENGE: Make a list of 5 things that bring you comfort or happiness. There are deep, spiritual, eternal aspects of God and his goodness that we must always be grateful for, but we must never forget to be thankful for the little things also. Whether it is a sweet relationship with a family member, your favorite flowers in bloom, finding the perfect pair of shoes, or the invention of scotch tape, every good and beautiful thing comes from the father of lights, and to him we must forever be grateful.🌿

I have found another #MomHack, at least for girls, and I gotta say, it's really quite brilliant. The menfolk are at a conference this weekend, and I have tapped into something absolutely wonderful for this girls weekend with my 10 year-old and 7 year-old.

You see, my daughters are really into little things. Whether it's colorful scraps of paper, teeny boxes, bits of ribbon, you name it--if it's small, they love it!

So when I found a collection of 100 tiny resin animals I knew I had discovered something special. Today, when I asked for help with a project and the girls responded cheerfully, I gave them each a couple of little trinket babies. Little farm animals, ladybugs, pink duckies, a couple of hedgehogs; just a hodgepodge assortment of random critters.

Oh, you should have seen their faces! They were SO excited, and immediately put them into the little cardboard house they had been creating for the four million other little critters they had somehow collected or crafted over the last several months. The little things are cute, sure, and cost me only pennies. Yet the value my girls put on these tiny darlings is akin to a priceless treasure.

Each time the girls were able to help with a project, or I noticed them being kind or looking out for each other I would hand them a trinket baby from the secret stash hidden away in my pockets. They are usually great at helping when I ask for it, but there was a new level of willingness, knowing that they might be awarded a trinket baby after their bit of service. Next thing you know, they are coming back, over and over, to ask my favorite question in the entire world: "How can I help?"

As I responded with joy and gifts to each of the ways they were responding kindly to each other, being helpful to me, or doing hard things with a cheerful heart, they were prompted even more so to continue in actions that were helpful and kind.

And then my heart was reminded of the many times I have been quick to correct, without noticing the opportunities to praise. So many moments I could have rejoiced in my children's kindness or care, yet I did not acknowledge it, simply because that's what they SHOULD be doing anyway. Yet how often do I, as wife and mama, wish someone would look into the things I am doing and tell me I'm doing a good job, or let me know they appreciate me?

So then, here is my resolution, and may Jesus bring this often to mind: I will celebrate the right and the good and the beautiful in my children, simply because it is right and good and beautiful, and I must remember to allow grace-filled correction to hold hands with acknowledged praise in the little things, just as in the great achievements.

If I am to represent Jesus to my children I must remember that our greatest praise is to hear our God say, "Well done, my good and faithful servant." Oh, that I would remember to showcase Him often by noticing and celebrating my own children by saying, "Well done, my treasured, precious child."

I've put a few trinket babies in my apron pockets, so that I'll always have them available to remind me of how valuable the little things are, and how important it is to notice the little joys and triumphs. And I'll have them on hand to add that tangible touch to a comment of appreciation when I notice my girls walking in grace.

How do YOU treasure the little things, and remember to celebrate your children (or other loved ones in your life) when they uphold your family values and represent Jesus well?

Updated: May 14, 2022

Me: God says don’t kill the unborn. God: Old Testament wrath. Others: How does that even make sense?

I keep seeing similar questions posed by those who seem to be looking for a fight rather than pursuing truth. But in case there is someone who is genuinely interested in an answer, here you go.

Making Sense: God is the absolute Authority over all things, is totally sovereign, actively involved in every detail through time, and only acts/allows events within His goodness, wisdom, love, and perfect, eternal justice, resulting in the absolute best in every scenario on an eternal level. I, however, can not perceive beyond my own circumstances and timeline, and my attempt to pursue justice is limited by that which I understand, which is fallible. Thus God’s justice is always right and best, and mine must remain in the context of what God has commanded me to do.

God’s justice is always right and best, and mine must remain in the context of what God has commanded me to do.

Going Further: Only someone perfectly good, totally loving, absolutely wise, and completely powerful could work out perfect justice–even unto death. God in His eternal character is perfectly good, totally loving, absolutely wise, and completely powerful. I am not.

The other aspect is of right. I am not the highest authority over life. As a soul-based being (humankind) I am on the same plane as other humans, and therefore have no right to kill them. (As opposed to rocks and plants and animals, which were created to assist me in my service to God, and over which I am given stewardship.) God Himself, however, as creator of all things, including humankind, therefore has complete authority and claim over their purpose and end.

Only when we are convinced of God’s complete authority will we admit He has the right to do with us as He wills. And only when we are convinced that He is perfectly good, totally loving, absolutely wise, and completely powerful will we trust that His right to do all things is never separated from His character to do all things in perfect goodness, love, wisdom, and power, resulting in perfect justice.

So What Now? Now we work to defend those who can not defend themselves, steward the world wisely and well, pursue justice as much as it is up to us, and hinge our every action on the direction of the One who continues to lead us in perfect love, goodness, wisdom, and power. And for those who reject God's sovereignty and authority, we pray that the Holy Spirit would soften their heart to desire and know Truth, while continuing to love them and reflect Jesus to them in the way we live.

So what now? Now we work.

Post Script: Though my husband's first response to the screenshot above was to push against the strawman arguments with proper context and clarity in the original passages, I felt that, were the OP (original poster) seeking to be malicious (as is too often the case), they would have no desire to look at Scripture, much less its proper hermeneutics. I decided instead to state the two points which clarify my own stance, boiled down to God's sovereignty and claim. Without the Holy Spirit quickening the heart of those who attack Scripture when their worldview is threatened, there will be very little opportunity for conversation beyond the roots of what a Christian believes. And, my sweet friend, if given the opening to speak to the heart of an unbeliever, please remember grace. If we can not showcase the love of God while celebrating His justice, our status of ambassador for the Almighty is in need of some serious re-calibrating.