Monday, October 13, 2014


Two-year-old kids can be a lot to handle. Thirty years ago my wife and I had a few of them running around OUR house. I can STILL remember what it was like. Lately, we have been enjoying the next generation's version of two-year-olds. They have newer toys, with flashing lights and weird sounds. And the accessories range from technologically-advanced car seats to no-spill, day-glow drinking cups. But other than all the "extras", the kids of today are pretty much the same as those of generations gone by.

My grandson turned two yesterday. His parents are apprehensively looking forward to the next few years as their son "matures" and increases in his ability to reach more and more things. He currently can be quite a handful at times and can take an nice, quiet evening out at a local restaurant and turn it into "opportunity for growth" for everyone at our table.

During one of his more quiet moments last night at the restaurant he was twisted backward in his highchair, looking up at the ceiling as he ate a piece of pizza. Although it is not my favorite position for eating food, I decided to join him in his contorted, upside-down world. Suddenly, I had something my son and his wife covet. I had my grandson's attention.

For the next several moments we were on the same level. Everyone ELSE was upside-down. He looked at me and smiled . . . and laughed.

When he sat up again, so did I and we continued to play quietly. He climbed into my lap and we spent several more quiet minutes, stacking toy trucks on top of each other. Meanwhile, the usual tenders of "the little man" ate their food. Mission accomplished for this old grandpa. I owe all of my successful parenting and mentoring techniques to God . . . and the apostle Paul.

There are two passages of scripture I would like to share with you today that have aided me throughout my life and I would like to share them with you. The first is from the Book of Hebrews.

"7 Remember your leaders, those who spoke to you the word of God. Consider the outcome of their way of life, and imitate their faith." - Hebrews 13:7

The second verse is some advice from Paul in the Book of 1 Corinthians.

"19 For though I am free from all, I have made myself a servant to all, that I might win more of them. 20 To the Jews I became as a Jew, in order to win Jews. To those under the law I became as one under the law (though not being myself under the law) that I might win those under the law. 21 To those outside the law I became as one outside the law (not being outside the law of God but under the law of Christ) that I might win those outside the law. 22 To the weak I became weak, that I might win the weak. I have become all things to all people, that by all means I might save some. 23 I do it all for the sake of the gospel, that I may share with them in its blessings." - 1 Corinthians 9:19-23

People don't necessarily like being told what to do. That goes for adults as well as two-year-olds. In my grandson's world life is simple. He likes to have fun. Sometimes other people don't agree with his ideas of having fun but his needs are rather simple. By becoming someone on my grandson's level, someone he could relate to, he suddenly had a playmate. Soon he was imitating what I was doing. And soon I had directed him to do something his parents longed for as my grandson sat quietly on my lap.

We all have people in our lives who do not live according to God's Word. We ourselves sin every day. We can't help it. Each of us must discipline ourselves according to God's will by following the example God has set before us in the apostles . . . and in Jesus. We should consider their example and imitate their behavior. In doing so we soon will find ourselves walking and talking like them - our teachers and mentors in the faith. Our challenge is to become more and more like Jesus every day. Are you up for the challenge?

Heart and Soul - Tom Hanks & Robert Loggia from the movie "Big"

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