An Investment in the Future

Psalms 127 and 128, songs of family strength, conclude with a look into the distant future, painting a portrait of a healthy, mature family. Like a farmer imagines his crop while planting seeds, Solomon helps us envision the fruit of our labor in the home.

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The Value of God’s Creatures

All of us need to be needed. We want to be wanted. God created us with a desire to know we can contribute something valuable and to have a significant impact in the lives of others. In years past, great men and women longed to leave their marks on the world, to create a legacy that would continue after they had passed away.

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Mortality

Life is so short. We really don’t have many years. And to spend them doing dumb stuff seems like such a waste. I was intrigued several years ago when reading about some ghost towns littered across the plains of Nevada. The writer pointed out that there was every indication between the middle and the end of the 1800s that these towns would flourish forever. There were people by the thousands.

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For Becoming Better Parents

Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord. (Ephesians 6:4) Thank You, Father, for being the perfect Parent. Thank You for those times that You’ve taken us to task, though the reproof sometimes seemed more than we could bear. Encourage us with the truth that whoever the Lord loves He reproves, even as a father corrects the son in whom he delights.

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Growing Old

Growing old, like taxes, is a fact we all must face. Now, you’re not going to get me to declare when growing up stops and growing old starts—not on your life! But there are some signs we can read along life’s journey that suggest we are entering the transition (how’s that for diplomacy?).

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Lifelines

TO ME, BIRTHDAYS ARE JUST another routine realization that I’m not getting any younger. I know that because the cake won’t hold all the candles. Even if it could, the frosting would melt before I’d be able to blow all of them out. One year, my kind and thoughtful assistant reminded me of another approach I could take. She gave me a birthday card showing an old guy standing beside a cake covered with candles.

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Looking for the Prize

GROWING OLD, LIKE TAXES, is a fact we all must face. Now, you’re not going to get me to declare when growing up stops and growing old starts. But there are some signs we can read along life’s journey that suggest we are entering that inevitable period of transition. Physically, the aging “bod” puts on the brakes. You begin to huff and puff when you used to rip and zip.

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Disorientation

DISORIENTATION IS THE PITS. When you travel a lot (like airline personnel) you must deal with it. When you fight deadlines as days run into nights (like tax consultants and publishing editors and pastors) you must work out ways to cope with it. When you are confined to tight places or inescapable spaces (like astronauts or prisoners or victims of confining illnesses)—again, that old bugaboo is there ready to bite, leaving you in the wake of depression or one of its emotional relatives. It happens frequently after people retire.

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Handle with Care

THE PACKAGE ARRIVED SAFELY, the reminder “Fragile: Handle with Care” affixed to the front. Oh, it had a few scuff marks and a bent corner or two, but by and large, nothing was damaged. Inside was a photo of my family, just a picture of six people with the same last name, four of whom were delivered by God into our home between 1961 and 1970. Those four deliveries should have had the same reminder: “Fragile: Handle with Care.”

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The Next Generation

THE BIBLE doesn’t try to paint its heroes as anything but real people with real flaws. Consequently, Abraham becomes real, not despite his frailties, but because of them. Like all real people, he had weaknesses.

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