“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.” John 3:16 NIV

A father to his son who returned home after graduating from a major university::

Nice to have you home. We missed you and are so happy to have you back in our presence physically, although as you know even when we are geographically separated , we are always attached with you spiritually.      Life is full of trials. There are mountains and valleys that each person must experience en route to our individual growth in maturity. If it is circumvented or interrupted in any way then the person does not grow to his or her fullest level of maturity. As you know I like to give the example of the mother/father bird with their baby in the egg shell. When they see their little one working hard to crack his or her egg shell they don’t say, “poor little one let us help you crack that egg shell so you can get out of there more easily or in a hurry. We don’t want you to have to struggle” God has instinctively put in the adult birds that this little one’s struggle to open that egg shell is an absolute must in order for it to properly develop for the outside world. You see, if he or she is going to make it in this world (succeed in life) he or she must learn through trials of effort. And so it is with each of us humans (the ones made in God’s image). Each of us must develop our own spiritual muscles, our own physical muscles, our own work muscles, our own academic muscles, our own obedience muscles, etc., if we are to develop properly. Yes, of course we work together as a team or on a corporate level but this absolutely must not negate the fact or take away from the necessity of the effort that must go into one’s own individual growth. Son, it is certainly our desire as parents to have provided you with a good basis of what it means to love our children and to have properly provided for your future. We could have no greater joy than to know that our children know, love, and serve the Lord wholeheartedly. We love you beyond words and please know that you are always in our prayers.

In Christ’s Service,

Mom and Dad

We send this to all of our children. We love each of you equally!!!

In order to know the peace that passes all understanding and the joy unspeakable and full of glory that God (the Bible) speaks about, each person, although strongly connected with groups must learn individually. Each person must have personal development. Although we read and study God’s Word together each of us must spend his/her own time in reading God’s word alone with God. Although we praise and worship together each person must spend his/her own time worshipping and praising God. There is no substitute for spending time alone in God’s presence. You cannot fake Christian maturity. When the trials of life, which do try everyone, come about we find out just where we are spiritually. And God loves us just enough to let us experience deep valleys in life so that He may mature us and cause us to grow. That is not to say that when all trials come that they are from God. The truth is that many of us go on our own way, doing our own thing , and bringing calamity in our lives that God never wanted us to experience and when the bottom falls out we blame God as if it were His fault. Beloved, we need to understand that God is a Good God and from Him comes Good Things while the devil is a bad devil and from him comes bad things. It must also be added that an individual’s selfishness also leads to bad results.

Where one starts in life should not dictate or solidify where one ends up in life. The Bible is a powerful source showing how people most unlikely to succeed can with the help of God achieve great things in life. A great illustration of this is the story of David. David was a mere shepherd boy when God called him from obscurity to become King over Israel. Even his own family thought little of David. When God sent the Prophet Samuel to anoint one of Jesse’s sons to be King he had everyone of his son’s but David to come out. But to their amazement God chose David. Because, “The LORD does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.” (1 Samuel 16:7b NIV). It is a natural tendency for people to look on the outer appearances. People judge you by where you live, what you drive, your education, the color of your skin, etc., . While God is extremely concerned about all of your needs being met, even more than you are, He is more concerned about what’s on the inside. He evaluates the motives of your heart. In other words He sees the inside of each person’s spirit. The real you that no one else knows but you and Him. (See Hebrews 4:12) For those who truly desire to have an unblemished relationship with the Lord we should ask Him to, “Search me, O’ God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts,. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.” Psalm 139:23-24 (NIV)

I Love You,

P.S. Remember that if you are a Christian who is struggling in your walk with the Lord that God’s says in His Word, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. 1John 1:9 (NIV)

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Jesus loves you.