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Week of 1/01/24

Morning Minute 1/02/24

“How Do You Picture…Your Family?”

The Pastor asked if anyone had received a Christmas card with a beautiful family picture this year. Everyone said yes.

He asked, “Didn’t they look amazingly happy?”

Continuing, he asked if anyone had received a Christmas card with a portrait of Jesus in the manger with Mary and Joseph. Almost everyone replied “YES.”

Then, he asked, “Don’t you wish your family was as happy as the families in those pictures?” Silence fell over the congregation.

The Pastor shared that the family picture was taken during a family outing or vacation. That picture was simply a snapshot, not representative of their everyday lives. He shared that the beautiful card showing the birth of Jesus portrayed a perfect night.  

He continued his message sharing there are no perfect families. All families have conflicts, and problems.. There are financial, medical, and health problems. There is the death of family members, distrust, disobedience, disrespect, and dishonesty, There may be infidelity or personality conflicts. There may be rivalries, even family members who despise each other. In spite of the beautiful pictures, there are no perfect families.

The pastor then explained the problems faced by the Holy Family. Mary and Joseph were engaged as teenagers. Then Joseph discovered Mary was pregnant. He married her anyway. In the month when Jesus was to be born, Mary and Joseph were forced to travel 90 miles, in winter, to Bethlehem. This was their first trip away from home. “Imagine riding 90 miles on a donkey while 9 months pregnant?”

Upon arrival, the only available shelter was a smelly, cold animal stable. The couple had to manage the birth by themselves. Later, they were forced into exile in Egypt to avoid Jesus being murdered. Years later they lost Jesus when they were at the temple. Finally, Mary had to witness the torture and crucifixion of her son.  

Then the pastor concluded saying, “Since there are no perfect families, let’s take this season to forgive one another. Children need to forgive their parents. Parents need to forgive their children.” He suggested that every family member should commit to finding the good in their families and work toward making life better for each family member.

That was our Pastor’s powerful message to us for 2024.

It is my sincere prayer this year, that you and your families will find healing through honesty and forgiveness, as you grow in love and support for each other.

That is today’s Morning Minute.

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Morning Minute 1//5/24 "Who Is Responsible?"

Morning Minute 1/05/24

“Who Is Responsible?”

Infants transition into childhood, through their teen years, to become adults.

These adults are expected to be contributing members of society for themselves, their families, and others whom they influence.

Who is responsible for guiding these children from infancy to maturity? Let’s look at each of the responsible parties.

PARENTS: Mothers and fathers are the primary influencers on their children. This is true for every child. They are responsible for setting a lasting example of how adults behave and take responsibility for their actions. They are to teach their children right from wrong, setting boundaries and expectations for their children’s behavior and performance. Parents are to monitor what their children are being taught, while assisting their teachers, to ensure that each child is working, learning, and behaving.

TEACHERS: Next to the parents, teachers and professors have great influence on the children’s journey from childhood to adulthood. They are responsible for assisting students to learn their subjects, gain proficiency through their performance, while reinforcing the values expected of responsible adults. Regularly communicating with parents keeps everyone involved in guiding children toward becoming adults.

ADMINISTRATORS: Elected politicians, school board members, and unelected bureaucrats have great influence on what, how, and if courses are offered and taught. They are responsible for providing the tools necessary for teachers to teach, for children to learn, and to keep parents involved. They must be servant leaders empowered to assist, not to indoctrinate.

CLERGY: Religious leaders teach and influence their congregations, both children and adults. They are responsible for teaching biblical values, how to have a personal relationship with God. and for providing guidance in how to live responsibly both as children and as adults.

STUDENTS: As they grow through the various stages of childhood, students are responsible for studying, doing their work, and learning from their parents, teachers, and coaches. They are to learn through their activities and their studies while mirroring the positive examples set by responsible adults.

Judy and I assumed that, by having children, we signed up for a 25 year assignment. We now understand that this is a lifelong commitment.

We encourage you to actively get involved in your own education and that of your children. They should be able to look at you and realize that learning never ends. And, that they have the responsibility to assist others to be the best version of themselves.

“Who Is Responsible?”

That is today’s Morning Minute.