Happy Fathers Day – They Are Going To Be OK

Happy Fathers Day – They Are Going To Be OK

Happy Fathers Day to all you dads out there.  I thought I would re-post this one to let you all know that all that work does pay off.

This post is from May 19, 2015.

Today I wanted to write about a nice moment in my life that happened the other day.

My mother had been in the hospital for a couple of days.  She had been suffering from acute anemia among other issues.  The doctors could not seem to figure out the cause.  All the tests had come back normal.

My father was home alone and is capable of taking care of himself but was having issues with his land line phone. He could call out but incoming calls were going directly to voice mail.  Both my mom and dad have cell phones but never have them turned on.  You know it might run up the bill if they were to leave them on.

My son was doing the weekly mowing for my grandfather’s estate.  One parcel of land that he mows for the estate is located adjacent to my mom and dad’s house. Continue reading

An Idle Life

An Idle Life

2 Thessalonians 3:6-12

Now we command you, brothers, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you keep away from any brother who is walking in idleness and not in accord with the tradition that you received from us. For you yourselves know how you ought to imitate us, because we were not idle when we were with you, nor did we eat anyone’s bread without paying for it, but with toil and labor we worked night and day, that we might not be a burden to any of you. It was not because we do not have that right, but to give you in ourselves an example to imitate. For even when we were with you, we would give you this command: If anyone is not willing to work, let him not eat. For we hear that some among you walk in idleness, not busy at work, but busybodies. Now such persons we command and encourage in the Lord Jesus Christ to do their work quietly and to earn their own living.

In this letter to the Thessalonians Paul is addressing something that Solomon had said thousands of years before.

In all the things that man can do and occupy his mind, in all things man can chase, all that really is important is your toil, being happy in your toil, your work.  For as Solomon said, all else is vanity and striving after wind.

But Paul is also addressing two other aspects of an idle life.

The first, as he already stated in other letters to the Church, is self responsibility, earning your keep in life, earning your own way, not on the backs of others.

There is no free ride in life, not for the righteous.

Paul is telling his fellow followers of Christ, you are responsible for yourself.  You are responsible for making your way in life.  You are responsible for feeding, clothing and educating yourself.  You are responsible for fulfilling your life.  Through this work of taking care of yourself you strengthen your relationship with God and truly begin to realize what King Solomon was talking about.

You realize how all that truly matters is your toil and being happy in your toil, eating the fruits of your labor, drinking the fruits of your labor and being happy in what you do.

The other point that Paul is addressing in these verses is idleness and what it leads to.

We’ve all heard the phrase, “An idle mind is the devil’s workshop.”

Paul knows this and is telling the Thessalonians and us as much.

For we hear that some among you walk in idleness not busy at work, but busybodies.

Paul knows that when we are bored we tend to get involved in things we shouldn’t.  We stray to easy fixes, things that may temporarily make us feel good about ourselves.  We stray to things that are quick and easy, things that lack substance or a foundation for building a righteous and happy life.

Paul calls them busybodies.  He could be referring to idle people who spend their days meddling in the problems and sorrows of others.  People who then use their self righteous, moral judgements to lift themselves up.

And he could mean busybodies, people just wandering through life not seeking a relationship with God or themselves.  People who busy their entire life looking to get out of their toil, looking for others to blame and pave their way through life.  People busy looking to avoid work, honest hard work, whether it’s work to earn their food and shelter or work to improve themselves and their relationship with God.  They’re just busy trying to avoid work.

Paul sums it up in verse twelve:

Now such persons we command and encourage in the Lord Jesus Christ to do their work quietly and earn their own living.

Paul is saying to be responsible for yourself, take care of yourself and take care of your relationship with God, they all work together.

Eat, drink and be happy in your toil, all else is vanity and a striving after wind.

© Otis P Smith and About the Groove, 2017. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Otis P Smith and About the Groove with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Personal Responsibility

Personal Responsibility

James 1:13-15

Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am being tempted by God,” for God cannot be tempted with evil, and he himself tempts no one.  But each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire.  Then desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin, and sin when it is fully grown brings forth death.

What is James talking about in these verses?  He is talking about personal responsibility.

He is telling us that temptation and sin are of our own doing.  We are not puppets and God is pulling the strings.  We are all free individuals able to make our own decisions and choices.  And with freedom comes responsibility, personal responsibility. Continue reading

Why Didn’t They Call

Why Didn’t They Call

This is a quick post about a piece I read in the news a few weeks ago.

I read an article about some protesters who got fired from their jobs and of course they were pissed off.

At first you would think they were being denied their first amendment right to free speech.  You might think maybe their employer didn’t agree with what they were protesting and decided to fire them.

But then I read further and discovered the reason for their dismissal was they never bothered to inform their boss that they would not be coming to work. Continue reading

They Do Grow Up and They Are Going to Be OK

They Do Grow Up and They Are Going to Be OK

This post is from May 19, 2015.

Today I wanted to write about a nice moment in my life that happened the other day.

My mother had been in the hospital for a couple of days.  She had been suffering from acute anemia among other issues.  The doctors could not seem to figure out the cause.  All the tests had come back normal.

My father was home alone and is capable of taking care of himself but was having issues with his land line phone. He could call out but incoming calls were going directly to voice mail.  Both my mom and dad have cell phones but never have them turned on.  You know it might run up the bill if they were to leave them on.

My son was doing the weekly mowing for my grandfather’s estate.  One parcel of land that he mows for the estate is located adjacent to my mom and dad’s house. Continue reading

Who’s In Control Of Your Life?

Who’s In Control Of Your Life?

The other night I had a long conversation with a good friend of mine.  He had recently relocated to a new area of the country after making a decision to down size his life in terms of material items and stress.

My friend is sixty two and is not ready mentally or financially for retirement but circumstances pushed him into the decision to move some place warm and relaxing.  He now finds himself having to find a new way to make a living until his full retirement benefits kick in.

As we talked he mentioned how he and his wife are still in the process of finding all the places you need to survive. They are still looking for the basic places and businesses you use every day and take for granted when you lived in the same place for 20, 30, 40 years or all of your life.

He told me it’s kind of fun discovering these new places every day.

But what keeps him up at night is wondering what he will do with the rest of his life.

At this point I interjected, “at least now you are in control of your life or should feel in control.”

I followed up with this story. Continue reading

They Do Grow Up and They Are Going to Be OK

They Do Grow Up and They Are Going to Be OK

Today I wanted to write about a nice moment in my life that happened the other day.

My mother had been in the hospital for a couple of days.  She had been suffering from acute anemia among other issues.  The doctors could not seem to figure out the cause.  All the tests had come back normal.

My father was home alone and is capable of taking care of himself but was having issues with his land line phone. He could call out but incoming calls were going directly to voice mail.  Both my mom and dad have cell phones but never have them turned on.  You know it might run up the bill if they were to leave them on.

My son was doing the weekly mowing for my grandfather’s estate.  One parcel of land that he mows for the estate is located adjacent to my mom and dad’s house. Continue reading