With Mothers Day approaching, I reached out to Julie Lavender. Besides being a wonderful model for mothers and grandmothers, Julie has two books I know you’ll want to check out. Following Julie’s inspiring ideas are some resources for parents of prodigals. Now Julie…Continue Reading
The smell of burning sacrifices made it impossible for Samson to ignore the Philistines’ celebration. He hung his head. It’d taken blindness and captivity to open his spiritual eyes and loosen the bonds of his self-centeredness.
His mother’s eyes had shone every time she said, “The Lord himself has chosen you to be his special servant to rescue Israel from the Philistines.” How had he not noticed when she stopped reminding him of his calling?
Philistine cheers jolted him from his thoughts. Maybe he could still do something. “O God, please strengthen me just once more,” he prayed.
Hebrews 11 names Samson in its list of those commended for their faith. His backstory seems to show more flaws than faith. If I were listing examples of faith, I’d hardly include Samson. Yet, God did. Samson’s story offers hope for fathers and mothers of prodigals.
A Promising Beginning and Messy Middle
The angel of the Lord appeared to Samson’s mother and said, “You are barren and childless, but you are going to become pregnant and give birth to a son. …He will take the lead in delivering Israel from the hands of the Philistines” (Judg. 13:3–5).
What high hopes these words must have raised in Samson’s parents. The Lord had set apart their son from the womb to the tomb to be his special servant. Samson’s parents were devout followers of Yahweh. His mother followed the strict Nazarite diet. His father Manoah prayed for instructions on how to bring up their son.Continue Reading
A friend in Bible study recently said she desperately wanted to know her calling. She looked around our group, “God made you a Bible teacher,” she said to me. She pointed to the friend next to her and said, “God made you good at many things. I don’t do anything. What does God want me to do?”
It’s easy to compare ourselves with others and come up short. Every Christ follower is called to represent Him in our sphere of influence (2 Cor. 5:21). The response of the group showed that what was hidden from our friend was obvious to the rest of us. Christ’s mercy and love virtually flow from our compassionate sister. She hadn’t seen that loving others in tangible ways was part of her calling.
Since humankind’s fall in the Garden of Eden, we’ve all struggled to find a sense of significance. We want to know our lives matter. We think our success in life is connected to being outstanding in a particular area. Well, it is. But the trait Jesus highlights may surprise you.Continue Reading
When I was a child, I asked Mama why there was a Mother’s Day and Father’s Day but no Children’s Day. She said every day is children’s day. I didn’t understand until I became a mother.