Thursday, August 17, 2017

 

Three things I know about our country and our world ... and Jesus

OK.  Let me start by getting the obvious out of the way first.  Racism bad.  Violence not the answer.  Hatred will not win.

Nope, don't really feel better.  So I want more than words. I want to do something.

So here is what the tragedy in Charlottesville reminds me.

Because I am a Jesus follower.

We are living in a fallen world.  There is hatred.  There is violence.  There is racism.  There is greed and immorality.  There is evil.  This is not the world God made.  We messed it up when we chose to listen to Satan.  Sin is everywhere.  So I am not surprised at what happened in Virginia or what will happen all over the world today.

Jesus is the answer.  When people follow Jesus transformation happens.  We get better.  We change into people more like Jesus.  So hate turns to love, violence turns to peace, and racism turns to brotherhood.  So where I am, it is different.  Where my family is, it is different.  Where Christians are, it is different.

So if you want to change things, make more disciples.  Tell the story of Jesus.  When you make a follower, this world changes.  There is another oasis of love, peace, and brotherhood.

You and I cannot change this world.  Not really.  Not by being nicer.  Not by expressing outrage.

But Jesus can.  He has changed me.  He has changed you.  He has changed people all over this world.
So be a disciple maker.

That changes this world.

Jesus is coming back.  And he will make it right.  Evil does not triumph.  And hate does not win.

Our world needs to know that good news.  Jesus died for the haters, the abusers, and the racists.

And if they hear of him, and if they believe him, they change.

Jesus followers love God with all we have and we love our neighbors like we do ourselves.

Jesus followers do not use the weapons of the world (violence, fear, evil).  We use the power of the Lord God Almighty.

And Jesus followers destroy racism.  The same blood of Jesus was shed for everyone.  We shared the same baptism.  And we have the same Holy Spirit.  We will live together forever.

Because we believe.

And that will change the world.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

 

Our youngest grandchild, Austin, turned 7



Our youngest grandchild, Austin Ridgell, turned 7 a few days ago.  And here is why I love him and am proud of him.

He is happy.  Very happy.  Loves life.  Laughs.  Enjoys playing.  Excited to meet the day.

He talks.  A lot.  We had someone tell us a while back that he always talks... even when nobody is listening.  Mimi said I just like that because he is just like me.

Loves his family.  His parents, grands, siblings, cousins.  He loves all of us unconditionally.

The boy is fearless.  He will do anything.  Not scared of anything.

He is his own person.  He can play with everyone else.  He can play by himself.  And be happy either way.

He counts the cost.  He weighs out his decisions and sometimes decides the cost (read:  punishment or consequence) is absolutely worth it.

He loves Jesus with great joy and passion.  Loves to pray and sing.

Every family really needs an Austin.  Loves God, dogs, his family, and life.

So God thanks for Austin.  He brings a smile to our face just like he does to yours.  Protect him from danger and evil.  Use his gifts to do great Kingdom things.

Thursday, August 10, 2017

 

Our first grandchild Anna is 12...



Another milestone for our family.  Our first grandchild, Anna Ridgell, turned 12 last week.  Here are just a few of the reasons I love her and am proud of her.

She loves us... especially her Mimi.  Still not too embarrassed to be seen with her old grandparents.  Still runs to hug us.  Still likes to talk to us.

She is an outstanding student.  Very smart and makes excellent grades.  But even better, she is one of those students teachers like to have in their class.

Good athlete.  At this point in her life, she is focused on basketball and volleyball.  Very good at both.  I like watching her because she is also a really good teammate.

She is pretty and graceful.  Lots of things I value more but it is part of who she is.

She goes out of her way to tell Mimi and me how much she appreciates us when we do things for her.  Does't have to be told to be gracious and polite.

She is committed to being a Jesus follower.  Prays, reads her Bible, and tries to put it into practice as a believer.

You always wonder how it will be to be a grandparent.  Anna has helped it to be more than we ever could have imagined.

Love that girl.  And proud of the young woman she is becoming.

God, thank you for our Anna Claire.  We are proud of her, but more importantly I know you love her and are proud of her too.  Protect her and bless her.  Thanks for sharing her with us.  Do amazing Kingdom things thru her.  

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