Nurture

“Nature is the raw material children bring with them; nurture determines what they actually do with it.” — Linda Kreger Silverman

Nurture is one of those words that makes one feel good. When we nurture a plant, a child, an athlete, or an idea they seem to grow healthy and strong. It implies that love is an important part, if not the most important part, of the process.
Wouldn’t it be nice if each of us went about our day with a nurturing attitude. Some do better than others, but to try is a great beginning.
Ms. Silverman’s words hit home. All the piano lessons, batting practice, and homework nagging may improve our children’s skills, but unless it is done in a nurturing spirit they will be for naught.

Patterns

Grandmother Danny writes in her bible — “Patterns are for the weak. Careers are like monuments, they must be carved.”

The minute we try to live our life according to someone else’s blueprint we are sliding down the wrong slope. The only blueprint we need follow is the one God placed in our DNA, so our life is a success when we be ourselves. It’s that simple.
So if you have a plan or thought about bringing a little light into the world, for the world’s sake let it shine.

Heart

The Lord God does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart. (1 Samuel 16:7).

I gave a talk last night before a large group. Out of the blue came the question, “You have lived such an interesting life, what would you say was the most important thing you have taken away from all your adventures.”
I’m afraid my answer wasn’t as good and precise as the words given to Samuel by God. But if I had a second opportunity to answer the question today at the top of the list would be to trust one’s heart, to listen to one’s heart, to seek out the heart of others, and to act on your heart.
Now some people might say such an answer is foolish. The hearts of the young make huge mistakes and that is true. Thinking with the heart is many times not practical, but note I didn’t say think with your heart. I said trust, listen, seek out, and act. A distinction yes, but an important one.
During quiet meditation your heart speaks, it would be prudent to listen to what it has to say.

Prosperity versus Cost of Grace

While most of my weekend at the beach involved the recounting of football stories embellished and exaggerated, there were a few moments of serious discussion. One of the subjects was about the growth in at least Texas, NC, and Arkansas of what one person described as “Prosperity Churches” — Mega-churches using modern music, messages of material prosperity, etc. that are attracting large audiences and worshippers. We all suspected this growth of prosperity churches is not limited to our home states. Like coat hangers they seem to be multiplying at night.

Compare that to the movie I watched last night about Dietrich Bonhoeffer and his words about struggle and the costs of grace.
Different times, different messages but it got me thinking. Especially a quote of Bonhoeffer’s I haven’t been able to locate but I am sure is documented somewhere. He said that after the war he believed the church would need to develop a new language — a new way of describing what it means to be a follower of Christ.
It got me thinking. I don’t believe the message of prosperity is the language he is talking about. I also don’t want to judge what others believe and see as where the light shines brightest. Bonhoeffer said that the language would be so wonderful so clear and true all would understand. Is that possible? I don’t know.
Anyway, I ask you all to give this some thought and please email me or post a comment. We might just explore this question from time-to-time over the year.