I love to coach my kids in the sports they play. I have been blessed coach all my children at different stages and in different sports. It’s a treat for me and fills my cup. I love the atmosphere of practice and, of course, game days. Win or lose (though winning is more fun) the amount of life lessons on a game field or court with a group of people called a team are endless.
Allison drives to the hoop
One thing I have realized is the importance of the sound of my voice. Whether I’m a coach or in the stands when my kids hear my voice, they respond. They play harder, look for me, find new energy, pick up their tempo. The words I shout to them are all affirmation, at least that’s what I try to do. Things like “Keep going, move your feet, go hard!” It blesses me when they respond to the voice of their dad.
Did you know how powerful your words are to anyone around you? The thing is that you and I, because of Jesus, carry the Kingdom. When we express words of affirmation and blessing to anyone, we do more than just say something nice. We actually bring a spiritual blessing that is beyond our understanding because of God’s Kingdom in us. It’s a beautiful way to love someone whether they are easy or hard to love.
Here is an idea from our Taste Worship events for you on this fourth Sunday of Advent. Take a sheet of paper and write across the top “I Love (name of someone here) because…” and then write 20-25 reasons why you love that person. Write it for Mom, Dad, a friend, brother, sister, Grandma, etc. Then give it to them in person or via a letter and let God use your words to do what He wants.
It’s what family does. The voice of a family member is important.
Have you ever been overtaken with joy? I mean the kind of joy that makes you just act silly, excited, giddy? It’s like something that if you tried to hold it inside because you were afraid you would look goofy, you would still look weird because you can’t hide it.
I love the word joy. I love to feel joy.
Joy is baseball with your son in the summer.
Joy is any of your children being born or holding them in your arms for first time.
Joy is your best friend on the planet saying “yes” when you ask her to marry you.
Joy is hearing your parents say they love each other (even though some days it seems weird ).
Joy is what the shepherds and angels felt when Jesus was born! What did they do? They let it show on the outside. Why? Because they couldn’t help it!
“And the ransomed of the LORD will return. They will enter Zion with singing; everlasting joy will crown their gladness and joy will overtake them, and sorrow and sighing will flee away.” Isaiah 35:1
Hey, my friends, this week when joy overtakes you, dance with no rules, sing loudly, shout a loud amen. Don’t hold back!
Why? Because it’s joy!
Grace and peace,
So Thursday was a hard day. It was the day my daughter Allison’s pet rabbit Patches died. We came home from downtown and right as I walked into the house Allison went to check on Patches where she found him lying in his cage barely breathing. As soon as she called “Daddy, it’s Patches, Patches, Daddy, it’s Patches!!!” The fear in her voice and cry for me to help was deeply hurt filled. We grabbed Patches and hopped in the van racing to the vet, but 20 minutes later, Allison’s precious rabbit passed away.
It’s sad. It stinks. It’s hard to watch your daughter experience a loss like that for the first time.
Allison cried out for Dad because she knew Dad would come. It’s a promise she knows I keep even though we never have to remind each other. She calls “Dad:” I respond. It’s what dads do. It’s a commitment I never break. That’s the second Sunday of Advent, plain and simple and yet so vital. God has made promises and keeps them. If we seek Him we will find Him. Promise.
He will never leave nor forsake us. Promise.
He claims us. Adopts us. Promise.
This week, say out loud what God has promised and expect His truth to win. Mary, Joseph, the shepherds, all expected God to keep His promises AND He did.
You can expect the same from God.
God is good all the time.
Peace and love,