Summer is a Time for Growing

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We plant a garden and hope to benefit from a harvest.  We plan vacation trips and activities and create good memories.  We keep track of the rate our children add inches to their height and plan for fall clothes shopping.  Often, if we stop to take notice, we delight in the ways our kids also seem to blossom and show signs of positive character development during this season.

It helps our children to make a difference in their world, when we regularly remind them that Christians are left on this planet to reflect God’s character and do things that point to his mighty deeds.  That is, to get acquainted with who God is and what God does.  Summer often gives us more free time to devote to this than the months when school is in session.

For instance, we can highlight in family meetings Psalm 103’s many verses.  We can talk about God’s character (his mercy, his righteousness, etc.) and his mighty acts (for instance in this psalm, he knows, he rules, he extends, he makes, etc.) and how this impacts our current experiences.

It’s probably easier to acknowledge God’s character and seek to be like him than it is to recognize his mighty works in our everyday life.  We refer to God’s mighty acts as miracles – the Bible is full of these, too – but sometimes ordinary life is just that – ordinary. We don’t need God to explain what happens to us.

We are blessed with many ways to deal with this challenge, but I’d like to suggest one that is pretty old fashioned.   That is, reading aloud in the family-time circle.  Mission agency bulletins and Christian magazines contain a lot of good material for this.  So from time to time this summer, I’m going to pass on a present day example of God’s mighty deeds – miracles, if you will – that can be added to the ones in the pages of Scripture.

Remember the time Peter prayed over the body of Tabitha in the town of Joppa and God raised her up? Acts 9:42 says, “This became known all over Joppa, and many people believed in the Lord.”  Here’s a report from Laos, Asia, found in the most recent issue of Asia Harvest.  It has a familiar ring.

In a remote area of Laos (a Communist led country sandwiched between China, Vietnam, Thailand, Myanmar [Burma] and Cambodia) our co-workers came across a village with a demon-possessed man who had been tormented by evil spirits for years.  The villagers had lost all hope.  They had built a thick wooden cage to restrain the man and to protect themselves from his violent attacks.

When the evangelists saw the caged man the compassion of the Lord came upon them.  They prayed for him in Jesus’ Name, and the dark forces that had bound him for years were demolished.

The change in the man’s life was so dramatic that many villagers demanded to know the God who had done this great miracle. As a result, 34 people accepted the Lord Jesus Christ and are now meeting together in a house church, including the man who had been so wonderfully set free. Hallelujah!

If you still have ‘little people’ in your family, how about reading this story to them?  Help them act it out. Then grab some pot lids and spoons and form a lively hallelujah band.  March around your family room or back yard praising God who is still in the miracle making business today.

May I never forget the good things (God) does for me. Psalm 103:2b

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