Being a disciple of Christ means following in the pattern of the “Prince of Peace” (Isaiah 9:6). The meaning of the Hebrew for peace, “Shalom,” is much richer than just “not fighting.” It indicates safety, well-being, and wholeness. Shalom brings rest, reconciliation, and restoration. Shalom leaves no room for false peace, for quiet contempt, or for unspoken grievances. It is a truthful and honest peace.
Through Christ, we have entered into peace with God (Romans 5:1). The work of Christ has brought us the peace of righteousness and confidence before God (Isaiah 32:17, Hebrews 4:16). And while this has put an end to striving on behalf of ourselves, it also compels us to do the work of peacemakers. “But all things are of God, who reconciled us to himself through Jesus Christ, and gave to us the ministry of reconciliation; namely, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to himself, not reckoning to them their trespasses, and having committed to us the word of reconciliation” (2 Corinthians 5:18-19).
We are given directives to work for peace because it is not something that comes naturally to us. Sin is the great divider – putting us at odds with God and each other. Fights, dissentions, and divisions result from those who are living to serve the desires of the flesh (I Corinthians 3:3-4, Galatians 5:19-20).
When a child enters our lives, it can become more difficult to set aside time to pray. The new responsibilities for a precious, fragile life can stir up a wealth of worries. Our natural response may be to become busy and anxious, not realizing the real solution is to pause and connect. As parents, how much more than ever do we need to call upon “Our Father in heaven.”
When Jesus taught us to pray (Matthew 6), he wasn’t just giving us words to recite, he was teaching us how to relate to God in a new way. The God who would rip the temple veil when Jesus died (Matthew 27:50-51), opened the curtain (Hebrews 10:20) so that we could boldly approach God with confidence, not as slaves, but as children (Galatians 4:7). In teaching us to pray, Jesus was guiding us in how to connect with God under the new covenant.
In the back of my book, "Parenting in Christ: Treasures For Parenting From Jesus" I list references and resources. For your convenience I am providing links to these below. Some of these are very loose inspiration, some very direct, and a few were found after the lessons were completed.
An essential practice of Christ-like living is the exercise of self-control. As Jesus said to his disciples, “If anyone desires to come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, and whoever will lose his life for my sake will find it" (Matthew 16:24-25). Self-control requires making short term sacrifices in order to achieve something greater. An op-ed in the New York Times, shared a study that demonstrated that those who exhibited the most self-control "went on to have higher SAT scores than the ones who couldn’t wait. In later years they were thinner, earned more advanced degrees, used less cocaine, and coped better with stress."
In my last post I began to look at the creation story to see if we can find the fatherly attributes of our unchanging, eternal Creator. Genesis 1:27 says, "God created man in his own image. In God's image he created him; male and female he created them." It was them creating us; the first Parents, the three in one God, making the first children. Here are some of the qualities of a good parent I see demonstrated by God at creation.
In the beginning, all was perfect. To summarize Genesis 1, God created Heavens, Earth, light, darkness, time, the sky, the waters, dry land, vegetation, the stars, sun, moon, and animals. The Hebrew is ELHOIM, which is plural - indicating the Trinity. God created by the Word, saying "Let there be... Let the waters... Let the earth." But when it came to humanity, God said, "Let us." There is an emphasis on the triune God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit creating humanity in their image. In Genesis 1:26, God said, "Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And let them.." Genesis 1:27 says, "God created man in his own image. In God's image he created him; male and female he created them." It is them creating us; the first Parents making the first children. But He is not as man, God is three in one. God is one eternal divine nature with three persons, unified and distinct in ways that are beyond human understanding.
I believe that your hope for growth, meaning, and fulfillment as a Christian is based on your understanding of who you are - specifically, your identity in Christ as a child of God. Your understanding of who God is and who you are in relationship to Him is the critical foundation for your belief system and your patterns of behavior patterns as a Christian.
- Neil T. Anderson
(p 24, Victory over the Darkness)
No one gets out of childhood unscathed. We were all raised by humans, who sin, who fail, and who have their own faults and inadequacies that keep them from being the parents we needed. Some parents fail more spectacularly than others. And some of their children are more acutely aware than others. Consequences vary, but one thing is sure, there is brokenness. This brokenness reaches into the ways we view and relate to God the Father. My hope in the next few blog posts is to reveal who the Good Father is and how we are meant to relate to Him in Christ. I'm not entering into this as one knowing, but one searching, and hoping you'll join in the conversation - so that we may help and encourage one another as members of the body of Christ.
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I used to write elaborate Christmas letters full of creative edge. Each year I tried to outdo myself until I hit a wall, and have since retired the practice. This is my "Post North Korean Takeover" holiday letter written in the "style" of North Korean threats.
Greetings from the newly annexed Democratic People's Republic of Korea formerly known as Los Angeles, home of the scum that commits such high treason, Sony Pictures Studios.
We wish you the best greetings of the season that have since been ruled out since our dear leader Kim Jong Un has rescued us from the arch traitors who are not worth the air their breathe, and made our leader Dennis Rodman. We hope that your snowfall deepens as the Korean people's yearning for leader Kim Jong Il, who left them amid heavy snowfall years ago.
Before our valiant rescue we have been kept busy with the caring for our children, holding captive the parents to the homework not to be tolerated.. The imperialist school system started them in Japanese and made great progress until our dear leader freed us from such dirty propaganda and eliminated the fascist filth.
Before Kim Jong Un, a great statesman of literary and military accomplishments, who is possessed of outstanding wisdom, rescued us, the children did play sports such as soccer, volleyball, and swimming. All sports have since been declared acts of sycophantic treachery against the state and crushed with the dreams of swimming to freedom in Mexico.
Before our dear leader's great triumph over lies, scheming, and provocations that distort and blaspheme our Republic’s bright reality, Christina put her most valiant efforts towards writing Bible studies. She worked in the traitorous school garden which would offer food not given from our beloved leader with matchless pluck and noble revolutionary comradeship. At the harvesting, the children did say “Hurrah!” with feelings of strong yearning and loyalty, extending highest glory and warmest congratulations. For this thieving of glory from our dear leader they were annihilated and firmly punished.
We wish you well in the cruel result of our attack that you deserve. Then you will know that our threat is not hollow. It will be too late to regret the rashness you are accused of as dreaming different dreams, listening to unauthorized music, or watching act of war movies like Home Alone.
As an electronic Christmas letter, let me take a moment to address any who may be "listening" for such emails..
To the CIA: This is satire.
To the FBI: Sorry about/ Congratulations on the job!
To the North Koreans: Satire means a dream of the best that you are hope for.
Photo Credit: http://kimjongunlookingatthings.com
You can now pre-order "Parenting in Christ: Lessons from the Parables" on Amazon at a pre-order discount of 99 cents! It will be delivered on Christmas day!
Parenting in Christ: Lessons from the Parables
by Christina Dronen
10 Lessons Align with the Parables
- Growing in Truth
- Responsibility of Authority / Stewardship
- Trust & Obedience - Integrity
- Perfecting Love with Mercy
- Repentance & Forgiveness
- Finding Contentment
This is meant to be an easier read & more seeker friendly than the first book. It's a great gift for someone you care about
Hi and welcome!
I'm Christina Dronen, a writer, wife, and mom passionate about following Jesus in the way I parent. My posts focus on pursuing Christ and letting Christ live through me in my parenting.