ARTICLES

 May 2013 Issue of the Church Guide on Page 14

YOU CAN HONOR YOUR PARENT WITH GOD’S HELP

By Tracey L. Moore

    The Bible tells us to honor our father and mother. Many people have issues stemming from how their parents treated them when they were children or young adults. Whatever the circumstance may be, God said, in Exodus 20:12, “Honor thy father and thy mother.” He didn’t say honor only the good ones. Some may ask, “How can that be required of me after my parent treated me so badly? What was God thinking?”

When we love and honor our parents, God will give us the added bonus of lengthening our lives here on earth according to Exodus 20:12. Therefore, God is trying to get us in a position to be blessed. He wants to give us the land and then allow us to enjoy living in it. It’s a question of what kind of quality of life do we want? Honoring our parents allows us to be able to expect to have a good quality of life. If we have bitterness and unforgiveness against our parents, that will likely end in sickness and disease in our bodies. We will be turned over to “the tormentors” (Matthew 18:21-35), and our quality of life will be poor. Therefore, honoring our parents is a choice we make about what kind of future we want to have.
So we know we are called to honor our parents, and the Lord is gracious enough to have given us His Holy Spirit to enable us to do something as outrageous as honor a parent who doesn’t deserve it.  But what does honor look like? I have a friend whose mother physically abused her as a child. She had a lot of pent-up anger as a result. When my friend became an adult, with the help and healing of the Holy Spirit, she made the quality decision to forgive her mom. She began to just “kill her with kindness.” Eventually, the mother began to mellow, and finally she broke down and asked her daughter to forgive her for the way she treated her during her formative years. The only way that this was able to come about was because my friend chose to forgive and honor her mother anyway.
Regardless of how our earthly parents may have treated us, God is the best parent in the universe. I was sitting in church on Mother’s Day a few years ago, and my bishop, Dr. B. Courtney McBath, preached a Mother’s Day sermon about God’s impeccable parenting skills. He relayed that a difficult relationship with your parent does not mean that you will lack in any way because of it. If you trust the Father, He will not leave you at a disadvantage because you did not get what you needed from your earthly parents. That is good news.
In summary, the Word of God says, “When my father and my mother forsake me, then the LORD will take me up” (Psalm 27:10). Therefore, we can be encouraged that God will “re-parent” us in whatever ways our biological parents dropped the ball. With the Holy Spirit’s assistance, we can honor our parents in spite of their personal and spiritual shortcomings. As a result, we will be able to live a good, long, quality life in the land He has promised to give us.

WATCH (THE NEWS) AND PRAY!

Confessions of a “News Junkie”

© 2013 by Tracey L. Moore

    I must admit, I enjoy watching the news. In fact I watch it everyday, and I guess I am somewhat of a “news junkie.”  What, exactly, is a “news junkie?”  A news junkie is simply someone who has to watch the news on a daily basis. Yes, I happen to be one of those people. I watch the news practically everyday because I have to be up on the latest current events. Can you relate? Sometimes as I watch CNN, and I’ve listened to the same story for the 3rd time, I think to myself, “I really need to change this channel,” but I continue to watch.

     I know that as Christians, we have to be careful what we watch. There is so much negativity in the world today, and we have to make sure that we are feeding our spirits with things that are good, positive, and uplifting.  But on the other hand, we need to know what is going on in our world. We cannot sit in our “ivory towers” and be separated from “worldly” issues because if we follow that line of thinking, how will lost people ever hear the Gospel of Jesus Christ? Obviously, there needs to be a balance. That is why I wrote the poem below called “News Junkie” which describes me, (and perhaps some of you), and is a call to action for the “news addicts” of our time.

NEWS JUNKIE

 I must admit I’m a “news junkie,”

I love watching CNN.

CBS Nightly News is my favorite,

Scott Pelley is like an old friend.

Diane Sawyer has such a sweet spirit,

Brian Williams a soothing voice,

Normally, when I am watching TV,

The news is most often my choice.

I’ve got to know what is going on.

Who can resist watching Headline News?

If some of your are honest with yourselves,

You’d say you’re a news junkie, too.

But while we sit and watch the news,

And get our “fix” everyday,

We need to do something constructive,

And let that be our cue to pray.

The Bible says the fervent effective prayers

Of the righteous do avail much,

When tragedy strikes, we need to seek God

And ask Him for those lives to be touched.

For that is the way that we get God involved

In worldly affairs indeed,

At times when we feel so helpless,

That’s how we can help meet a need.

It’s our job to pray for the hurting and lost,

It’s our job as Christians to care,

Although we don’t know them, we can certainly pray,

That’s a way for us to be there.

For their deepest need at the moment

Is the presence of God, that’s true.

So, if you are a news junkie,

Now you know just what to do.

Whenever you watch news programs,

Remember the most effective way

To make a difference in situations you see

Is to be sure that you watch and pray.

    I recently went into a major retail bookstore and stumbled upon a book called Praying the News: Your Prayers are More Powerful than You Know, by Wendy Griffith and Craig von Buseck. The book discusses our need as Christians to pray about the situations that we see everyday in the news and asserts that if we would only pray, we could change the course of history in our nation and our world. We need to watch or listen the news and become the intercessors God uses to usher His will into the earth. Therefore, as “news junkies,” we must do more than watch the news on a daily basis, but also regularly look at the news to find out what the prayer needs are on a national and international level.

    For example, several months ago, I was watching the news and there was a story of a seven-year old Hispanic girl who had been raped, beaten and killed in the inner city. At that time, the police did not know who did it and had no suspects.  The thought of a child being harmed in that manner was horrific and disturbing. I immediately began to pray for God to lead the police to her killer. I prayed for the family of the little girl because I knew that they were devastated and in a state of confusion. I prayed for God to be with them to comfort them and guide them through their grief, and that they would be made whole again. I also asked God that if the members of the family did not know Jesus, that they, as well as the murderer, would come to know Him through this difficult circumstance.

    The next day, they ran a second story stating that they had caught the little girl’s killer. I was ecstatic. It turned out to be young twenty-something year-old man that had started working as the maintenance man in the apartment building the month before the incident. I am sure that others were praying for his capture, and God moved rapidly to orchestrate circumstances so that the suspect was apprehended quickly. Hallelujah!

Therefore, the next time you watch the news, as Jesus told His disciples in Matthew 26:41, “watch and pray,” but also believe that when you pray, that God will move mountains and glorify Himself in the process. Prayer changes things, and you can make a difference by simply interceding daily on behalf of people who desperately need your prayers. This is confirmed in James 5:16 (KJV) which says, “The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.” So, watch the news, let it be your cue to pray fervently, and then watch God display His power. That is how you can truly allow yourself to be used by the Lord to bring His will to pass.