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Precious Prodigal
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There is nothing in the world more devastating
to a parent than to have a prodigal child.

 

 
   
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  December 23, 2015:  Put yourself in “Time Out”  
 
 
 
I’ve never been a big believer in putting a child in “Time Out” for misbehaving. I’m even less a fan of parents playing the game of putting them back in “Time Out” again and again when the kids refuse to stay there. Sometimes one solid smack on the seat of the pants does more to convince a child that you mean business than all the “Time Outs” in the world.

Having said that, I hasten to add that there are some benefits to “Time Out.” When any child is over-tired or (even worse) over-stimulated, it’s really hard, perhaps impossible for him or her to control their behavior. And if there’s stress added to the mix, it goes out of the spectrum. To expect acceptable, cheerful behavior is unreasonable. Of course, we all know that about kids. But it’s equally true about adults.

Harry and I had lunch out yesterday, and I didn’t see a lot of people just bubbling over with Christmas spirit…quite the opposite. Cars were blaring their horns, mothers were impatient with excited kids, couples were growling at each other, everyone I saw seemed to be alone…even those in a group, and I don’t think I saw even one person smiling or singing Christmas carols. “Happy” Holidays? Not so much, but why?

Like our kids, we are over-worked, over-tired, and over-stimulated…not to mention stressed. None of those things is going to result in quiet contentment, never mind joy in the Christmas season or any joy at all for that matter. Stressed, tired people are not usually very nice, and you and I are no exception. Who could blame us for being irritable? But instead of growling and snapping at the people we love or even at strangers, maybe we need to put ourselves in “Time Out,” not as a punishment, but as a survival tool.

Genesis 2:2 tells us that God “rested…from all his work that he had done.” Now, you and I know that God doesn’t need to rest. In fact, Isaiah 40:28 tells us clearly that God “doesn’t become weary or tired.” (NASB) So why did God rest? Perhaps He rested as an example to us, an example we would do well to emulate.

Take the time to sit with a cup of tea or hot chocolate and just look at the Christmas tree. Turn off the computer and Fox or CNN news and turn the radio on to some Christmas music. Go for a ride and look at the Christmas lights. Sit and pet the cat or snuggle one of your kids or grandkids and think about how rich you really are. You and I and everyone connected to us will benefit from our taking some time apart before we “come apart.”

So what if there’s dust on the refrigerator or your windows aren’t done? What does it really matter if your house isn’t spotless or if the gifts aren’t perfectly wrapped? Giving ourselves permission to exit the “race” toward December 25 and meditating on the real meaning of Christmas might just give us a real “Happy Holiday.”
 
 
 
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  It isn’t easy to walk a wilderness path, and we who do often feel alone. But there is a God who knows our every fear and heartbreak, and He has promised never to leave us or forsake us. If you would like to know more about how you can have a personal relationship with Him, CLICK HERE.  
 
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  Accepted, Accountability, adversity, affirmations, Alanon, angels, armor, armour, arrogance, bail, Believing God, bitterness, blame, brothers, building, burden, carrying burdens, chaos, chrysalis, church, circumstances, comfort, compassion, complaining, content, contentment, control, counseling, death, Desperation, devotions, discouragement, Divorce, doing what’s right, dysfunction, dysfunctional, eagle, emergency, enabling, encouragement, enemy, envy, Examine your heart, exhaustion, faint, Faith, family, fear, forget, forgetting, forgiveness, forgiving myself, forgiving yourself, free will, friends, Friendship, Giving, Giving God first place, God, God’s Sovereignty, God’s love, gold, gossip, gratitude, grief, grieving, grumbling, help, helping, Hezekiah, honesty, hope, humility, hurt, hurting, jumping to conclusions, letting go, loss, love, love mercy, loving mercy, Loyalty, lying, manipulation, Marriage, martyr, meditations, mental-health, mercy, miserable comforters, mount on wings as eagles, mourning, overcoming, poetry, poison, Powerful, Praise, prayer, press on, prodigal, prodigal’s elder brother, quiet time, reaching out, Recovery, rejoice, relationships, religion, remember, remembering, repentance, resentment, Sacrifice, salvation, self care, self will, self-esteem, self-pity, selfishness, Serenity, Serenity Prayer, Service, Serving my generation, setting limits, sharing, sibling rivalry, siblings, sisters, sleep, Sovereignty of God, spirituality, Storms, strength, Survival, taking care of yourself, tale-bearing, thinking, thoughts, trust, trusting God, Unbelief, valley, Waiting, Waiting on the Lord, Why me?, Worry,  
  Accepted, Accountability, adversity, affirmations, Alanon, angels, armor, armour, arrogance, bail, Believing God, bitterness, blame, brothers, building, burden, carrying burdens, chaos, chrysalis, church, circumstances, comfort, compassion, complaining, content, contentment, control, counseling, death, Desperation, devotions, discouragement, Divorce, doing what’s right, dysfunction, dysfunctional, eagle, emergency, enabling, encouragement, enemy, envy, Examine your heart, exhaustion, faint, Faith, family, fear, forget, forgetting, forgiveness, forgiving myself, forgiving yourself, free will, friends, Friendship, Giving, Giving God first place, God, God’s Sovereignty, God’s love, gold, gossip, gratitude, grief, grieving, grumbling, help, helping, Hezekiah, honesty, hope, humility, hurt, hurting, jumping to conclusions, letting go, loss, love, love mercy, loving mercy, Loyalty, lying, manipulation, Marriage, martyr, meditations, mental-health, mercy, miserable comforters, mount on wings as eagles, mourning, overcoming, poetry, poison, Powerful, Praise, prayer, press on, prodigal, prodigal’s elder brother, quiet time, reaching out, Recovery, rejoice, relationships, religion, remember, remembering, repentance, resentment, Sacrifice, salvation, self care, self will, self-esteem, self-pity, selfishness, Serenity, Serenity Prayer, Service, Serving my generation, setting limits, sharing, sibling rivalry, siblings, sisters, sleep, Sovereignty of God, spirituality, Storms, strength, Survival, taking care of yourself, tale-bearing, thinking, thoughts, trust, trusting God, Unbelief, valley, Waiting, Waiting on the Lord, Why me?, Worry,  
  Accepted, Accountability, adversity, affirmations, Alanon, angels, armor, armour, arrogance, bail, Believing God, bitterness, blame, brothers, building, burden, carrying burdens, chaos, chrysalis, church, circumstances, comfort, compassion, complaining, content, contentment, control, counseling, death, Desperation, devotions, discouragement, Divorce, doing what’s right, dysfunction, dysfunctional, eagle, emergency, enabling, encouragement, enemy, envy, Examine your heart, exhaustion, faint, Faith, family, fear, forget, forgetting, forgiveness, forgiving myself, forgiving yourself, free will, friends, Friendship, Giving, Giving God first place, God, God’s Sovereignty, God’s love, gold, gossip, gratitude, grief, grieving, grumbling, help, helping, Hezekiah, honesty, hope, humility, hurt, hurting, jumping to conclusions, letting go, loss, love, love mercy, loving mercy, Loyalty, lying, manipulation, Marriage, martyr, meditations, mental-health, mercy, miserable comforters, mount on wings as eagles, mourning, overcoming, poetry, poison, Powerful, Praise, prayer, press on, prodigal, prodigal’s elder brother, quiet time, reaching out, Recovery, rejoice, relationships, religion, remember, remembering, repentance, resentment, Sacrifice, salvation, self care, self will, self-esteem, self-pity, selfishness, Serenity, Serenity Prayer, Service, Serving my generation, setting limits, sharing, sibling rivalry, siblings, sisters, sleep, Sovereignty of God, spirituality, Storms, strength, Survival, taking care of yourself, tale-bearing, thinking, thoughts, trust, trusting God, Unbelief, valley, Waiting, Waiting on the Lord, Why me? lying, manipulation, Marriage, martyr, meditations, mental-health, mercy, miserable comforters, mount on wings as eagles, mourning, overcoming, poetry, poison, Powerful, Praise, prayer, press on, prodigal, prodigal’s elder brother, quiet time, reaching out, Recovery, rejoice, relationships, religion, remember, remembering, repentance, resentment, Sacrifice, salvation, self care, self will, self-esteem, self-pity, selfishness, Serenity, Serenity Prayer, Service, Serving my generation, setting limits, sharing, sibling rivalry, siblings, sisters, sleep, Sovereignty of God, spirituality, Storms, strength, Survival, taking care of yourself, tale-bearing, thinking, thoughts, trust, trusting God, Unbelief, valley, Waiting, Waiting on the Lord, Why me?, Worry,