Encouragement Note: On failure, weakness, the way back

Note: The following text is from Chris Underwood, from Chicago. Chris is in SJCampos for three months working with Embraer. It’s been a pleasure to have him in the congregations here. He sends out a monthly “Encouragement Note” and graciously allowed us to share it here.

“Take chances, make mistakes. That’s how you grow. Pain nourishes your courage. You have to fail in order to practice being brave.” ―Mary Tyler Moore

Romans 5:2-4 “By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience; And patience, experience; and experience, hope:”

No one plans at an early age to lose a child, to become an alcoholic, fail in marriage, file bankruptcy, lose their faith in God, or find a point in their life trying to figure out how I got myself in this much trouble. Failure happens to all of us at some level physically or spiritually. Continue reading

#correction, #encouragement-note, #failure, #restoration, #weakness

The difference between making a mistake as a parent and failing as parent

Let’s face it; you can’t make it through life as a parent without making mistakes. And making mistakes as a parent doesn’t automatically equate to someone being failure at it…nor do the mistakes made by your children. But the two can be very closely related.

Let me describe the difference:

Your children making the same mistakes you did as a young person doesn’t make you a failure at being a parent. Your children making the same mistakes you did as a young person with your blessing makes you a failure at being a parent.

Children are going to do things that are wrong – even when they know they don’t have the blessing of his or her parent. But for a child to gain a stamp of approval from a parent while they are doing something morally, ethically, financially or whatever is conceivably wrong is just plain wrong.

Listen to this – the youthful mistakes of a parent does not give that parent’s child a right to make the same mistakes! A wrong from a parent’s past will remain a wrong for his or her child in the future. And we will fail as parents if we don’t understand this principle.

Parents are there to be a guide for their children – a guide that hones the conscience by stepping in when a wrong decision is being made whether that child realizes it or not…and whether or not your conscience made the right decision when facing the same situation.

There’s a world of difference between making mistakes as a parent and failing as a parent; but intentionally allowing our children to do the former puts us dangerously close to the latter.

Now therefore, listen to me, my children; pay attention to the words of my mouth:” (Proverbs 7:24)

And by the way – the above quoted words came from a parent who made huge mistakes in his life, and that’s why he gave his son the warning, not the approval, that he needed to hear when it came to the responsibility of making his own choices.

#failure, #learning-from-the-mistakes-of-others, #parenting, #raising-faithful-children

To Him who Knows to Do Good

By J. Randal Matheny © 2015

Jas 4.13-17

To neglect the spiritual mind is the greatest waste,
To hurry past the Cross, a horrible haste,
To forget the soul, what lapse of memory!
To ignore a pressing need, what failure to see!
And plans that leave out God, what use are they,
When lifts life’s passing mist that was here today?
To omit the word of life is cruel silence,
Undone the loving deed is harmful violence.
‘Tis sin — the same as doing the evil plot —
To him who knows to do good and does it not.

#failure, #inaction, #neglect, #poetry, #sins-of-omission

Near the top of my to-do list for the Fourth of July

The Missus and I had a quiet Fourth, just the two of us, at home. I stayed away from the office, but piddled with work throughout the day. I didn’t even take a nap, which was near the top of my to-do list for the day. Did a bit of writing.

Naps help one live longer, work better, and think more clearly. They’re one of the good things of life, along with chocolate. When I was working from home, naps were easier to take. Now that I’ve returned to keeping regular and long office hours, they’re not much of an option. Unless someone wants to donate a comfy sofa for the office. I have room for one, by the way.

• I’ve said on Twitter that people will find my editorial this next Monday, written for Forthright Magazine, uninteresting, boring. People may not even open the email after seeing the title. My way of trying to drum up some interest in it to keep people from trashing it.

• A reflection I wrote on my blog a couple of days ago about homosexuality got a bit of attention. I wrote it after the release of a scholarly article that explored a word (aselgeia) used by Jesus (condemning the practice of it) which just might include homosexual activity.

• Part of this week’s reading is Psalm 85. Today I spent a few hours, unplanned, studying and researching it. It was of great spiritual benefit to me. I didn’t write much on it, but I was blessed by it and the writings on it I consulted. That the NIV Study Bible had one of the best analyses of its structure was a bit surprising.

• Things I have been writing, in Portuguese, include ye olde dictionary of biblical vocabulary, lessons on Christian attitudes for Sunday Bible study, and the beginnings of a work on the “good conduct in Christ” (1Pt 3.16), the practice of living for God, especially as it touches on morals.

• In English, be sure to catch my article in the August Gospel Advocate on “Christ as Prophet, Priest, King.” They even made it a special issue because of that article. (Yeah, right.) It is a special issue, but for a different reason, something of a compendium of basic doctrines, as I recall. I feel privileged to have a small part in it. I’m grateful for brother Greg Tidwell’s invitation to write for it. I don’t know all the other topics, but I felt like I got the filé mignon of assignments.

Any time we can talk or write about our Lord Jesus Christ is a blessing, is it not? He ought to be the constant topic of our conversation. As important as baptism is, can we manage to talk more and know more about the King of Kings than about the rite of entry into his kingdom? We ought to, you know. Continue reading

#corollaries, #divinity-of-christ, #failure, #inferences

[T]he tragedy of life doesn’t lie in no…

[T]he tragedy of life doesn’t lie in not reaching your goal. The tragedy lies in having no goal to reach. It isn’t a calamity to die with dreams unfulfilled, but it is a calamity not to dream…It is not a disgrace not to reach the stars, but it is a disgrace to have no stars to reach for. Not failure, but low aim is sin.

Benjamin Elijah Mays, American educator and president of Morehouse College (1895-1984)

#aim, #disgrace, #dream, #failure, #goal, #life, #sin, #stars, #tragedy