Friday, January 28, 2011

Dirty Little Secret

Jasper Speaks:

So we continued our talk on temptation on Wednesday night. We talked about how we hide our temptations from others sometimes. We talked about how we make our temptations our dirty little secret. We don't want others to know.

But that is exactly what the enemy wants us to do. He wants us to hide our temptations in the shadows. If  no one knows about them then we don't have to worry about people thinking less of us. After all, I am the only one who has battles with this issue, right? Wrong! The enemy knows that if you keep your dirty little secret hidden away that he can keep tempting you. He knows that if no one knows your struggle it is easier for you to fall. He wants you to believe that others will be judgmental and that no one struggles in the way that you do. This is exactly opposite of Scripture which says:

No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it. (1 Corinthians 10:13 ESV)

Nothing we come up against is new. There are people struggling in the same areas that we struggle every day. One of the ways of escape God gives us is accountability. Telling others. Sharing life. I would rather be on a 5 mile hike, dying of thirst and not sure where I am going but with a group of friends, than in a cave alone with my arm crushed under a rock not knowing if anyone could ever help me.Wouldn't you?

Don't let Satan convince you that your dirty little secret should stay that way. Find hope, forgiveness and strength in sharing your journey with others.

Here is a resource for parents. This is a great book to help you start devotions with your teens.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Three Years Seems Like Yesterday and Forever Ago At The Same Time

Jasper Speaks:

Today marks three years since my mother was "promoted to glory". It is hard to believe. It is odd how your emotions change. It has only been three years but I can now speak about her without always tearing up. She meant a lot to me. I was such a "Mama's boy".  Still, I know that she would be proud of the things that have occurred in my life since her death. It is hard still, not to be able to share in joys and sorrows with her.

God blessed me with Christian, loving parents. As I work with teens everyday, I am reminded that not everyone is shown such grace. So many kids hurt because of the actions of their parents. Although my parents weren't perfect, they taught me how to love and be loved. I am a better husband, father, brother and friend because of the investment they made in me.

Today, I prayed that God would remind me of the hope of being with mom for eternity. Sometimes, in grief that is hard to remember. I heard Steven Curtis Chapman say that if we really believe in eternal life our loved ones who have died in Christ are much more a part of our future than our past. I find comfort in those words today.

I miss you mom. I love you. Thanks for leading me to Christ and then showing me how to live like Him.

Donna Rains
Donna Louise (Baugh) Rains was born Thursday, August 11, 1932, and was promoted to glory on Saturday, January 26, 2008. She was joined in marriage with Allie T. Rains on February 5, 1953. Dear mother of Tom (Cathy) Rains of Quincy, Illinois, Pattie (Mike) Hanna of St. Louis, Missouri, Kathryn (Tom) Phillips of Wright City, Missouri, Darla (Fred) Shular of St. Clair, Missouri and Jasper (Kendra) Rains of Ellisville, Missouri; dear grandmother of 7 as well as 5 grandchildren who preceded her in death; dear great-grandmother of two; dear sister of Harold (Aleene) Baugh. Our dear sister-in-law, aunt, cousin and friend. Along with her husband, Mrs. Rains served the Grace Baptist Church in faithful ministry for 47 years and continued to be a member there until her passing. Her life affected many and she was well known as a faithful servant of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.