Can You Relate?

I heard a well-known parent say the other day that one of the joys and fascinations of having kids is that you get to reproduce someone that you can relate to. So, let’s try that on for size:

My oldest is into politics and the investment of funds, big time. And though I want our country to thrive and I’d like to have more money, neither one of these arenas comes close to making my radar.

My next child, also a son, lives and breathes being outside and doing and making things with his hands. He would rather you throw him off the top of my office building than make him sit in front of a computer all day as I do.

My eldest daughter loves to dance, as evidenced by the six or eight dance classes she takes. To say I’m uncomfortable on the dance floor is to say that the surface of the sun is a tad warm.

My next daughter loves competitive cheerleading. To me, it looks like the small girls like her get tossed around like sacks of potatoes and the bigger girls are lifting weights and getting stepped on. Hmm.

My third daughter sings with the voice of an angel. I can perhaps carry a tune, and certainly love to sing along to whatever I’m listening to, but she has a natural gift that seems foreign to my DNA.

And my youngest girl is a fearless gymnast and consummate performer. She prefers to get from here to there via cartwheel, and if she can put on a show or make a video along the way, all the better. I’ve never tumbled, at least not intentionally, and the limelight is no place for me.

Conclusion? My kids are a chip off the ole block, but that block is far more complex than the simpleton that I am. And so, God is greatly to be praised for how He has woven various parts of me and my wife, intensifying some and muting others, to create six children who are intended to relate most and best to their Heavenly Father.

I love each of them so deeply it sometimes hurts within me, and I love trying to figure them out and enjoy them as they become who they will be. But God is who they are most intended to relate to, just as you and I are. He is our life, our salvation, and our purpose. However you are and whatever you are like, your greatest gift is that you are made to relate to your Creator, the Lord God Almighty. And I hope that in that relating, you will let Him shape you and remake you into the redeemed child that you are. I hope that you want to be like Jesus. I hope that that is something you can relate to.

Rich Holt

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Sing! . . . with Heart and Mind, part 4

Selections from Keith and Kristyn Getty’s book Sing! How Worship transforms Your Life, Family, and Church.  People say you are what you eat. Well, songs are food for the soul. What you sing, and don’t sing, changes you.  The lyrics of the songs we sing in our churches and repeat in our hearts find their way into shaping our priorities, our behavior, our loves . . . into the quiet space (or not so quiet, if you have kids) of the car journey on a Monday morning, into the language of our prayers as we fall asleep, into the answers we give “for the hope that we have” (1 Peter 3:15).

  1. Singing takes Sunday’s truths into Monday.  Most of us sing at times in our week or hum a tune that reminds us of its lyrics.  be singing what you sang on Sunday, be singing the gospel.  Christ-filled songs can help motivate us into a day when we would rather stay in bed than get up and face the chore or meeting or project.  They help us remember scripture. They keep uprooting weeds of worry and fear that tangle our feet and trip us up.
  2. Singing sustains you in every season of life.  If we are to be prepared to live for Christ in the whole of life, we need to be singing about the whole of life.  In this question, God has given us a guide in the book of Psalms as a hymnal of songs to God, about God, sung in community with the people of God.  The Psalms give us a vast vision of who God is.  As we read through these Biblical songs see God’s character displayed with different emphasis according to our needs in life.  He is the judge, shepherd, holy God, King of all the earth, the creator, and the defender of the widow and fatherless.  We introduced to His voice, tears, glorious achievements for his people in the past and future.  The Psalms show us how to deal with real life.  In the Psalms, there is the full emotional spectrum of prayers to God moving from laments (Ps. 13:1) to rejoicing (Ps. 16:9-10).  These are songs that know the singer with the heavy heart and doesn’t glibly ignore the realities of life.  We sing, as the Psalms train us, to help us bring all of our lives, failures, successes, losses, gains, dreams, and ambitions into gospel perspective.
  3. Singing reminds you of what God has done in your life. As you remember God’s faithfulness in your past, so often etched in your hearts through a song, you are inspired and equipped to face the ups and downs of the week.
  4. Singing keeps your mind on eternity.   We need to sing those songs now that we want to grow old with – songs that will lift our hearts and sights to eternity and our eternal Lord when earthly life begins to slip from our hands.   We need to sing with others in our churches, that they, too, may look to eternity every day, including their last day.  May we fall asleep with gospel songs on our lips and awake to the sounds of heaven singing.

In light of this post, consider listening to this song, “Jesus my Living Hope” This is the song we have sung the last couple of Sundays.  Now try singing it on a weekday and consider the gospel expressed in song.

Jarrod Scott