In today's fast moving culture many people don't take the time to stop and think about what is going on around them, most don't even think about what they are about to do before they do it. In contrast I believe that we should take every thought captive and meditate on why we do what we do before we do it. Without a valid reason actions are a pointless waste of time and since time is one of the most valuable things we have I believe that we should take some time to think about Life because it is important.
So here are my "Thoughts on Life".

The Immensity of the Fathers Gift

The other day I was listening to the radio as the host was introducing the song Joseph's Lullaby (by MercyMe) and he said something that really got me thinking, he said that sometimes as a child Jesus probably called Joseph 'daddy'. Now the Bible doesn't say whether or not that happened, but it seems to me that it is very probable that it did happen. I mean that is the natural tendency of a child to call their father (whether their real father or adopted father) 'daddy' and Jesus was fully man, born just like you and me. So I was listening to the radio host and getting ready to listen to Joseph's Lullaby, which is one of my absolute favorite 'christmas' songs, and I started thinking, how much God sacrificed to allow His only Son to call another 'daddy'. I continued to think about this all throughout the song and for the next few days.

Now I don't for a moment pretend that I understand all that is involved in being a father, nor do I completely comprehend all of the emotions that are there, but as I have matured and grown I have come to better understand how my father feels about me, and through that understanding I can begin to understand how he feels. I know that if I were to call someone else (aside from God) my father it would break his heart. So how much more must it have broken God the Father's heart to hear His Son call another father. Out of all the names of God, I think that of Father is one of His dearest. The Bible tells us in countless places how much God cares for children (Luke 16:18), and how He desires the orphaned cared for (James 1:27), and how He is the father to the fatherless (Psalms 68:5). All of these things say to me how much God desires to be called Father, and how good of a father He is. Numerous places in the Bible (Exodus. 20:5 and Deuteronomy 5:9 to name two) it says that our God is a jealous God and He does not suffer another to take His glory, but He allowed Joseph to be Jesus' earthly father, to me that says a lot about the immensity of the gift that God made in sending His only Son.

Now as Jesus grew He came to understand that God was His Father and called Him such, just as I as a christian have come to understand that God is my heavenly Father and call Him father. But as He was growing it is quite possible that Jesus didn't fully understand that He was God's only begotten Son. The Bible says that Jesus was completely human and yet also God the Son, so as a toddler and young boy it is quite possible that He didn't really understand who He was. He probably loved to sit in His daddy's shop and watch him work. He probably enjoyed going fishing and playing with his dad. I sometimes wonder if Joseph ever thought about the honor that he had been given. Did he ever think about the fact that the little boy who was calling him father was really the Son of the Lord God Almighty? I think that he probably did, I think that as he watched little Jesus grow and thought about His future he was reminded that great things were in store for this boy who was "God with us". And while he held Jesus tight and loved Him as his own he was reminded that God had entrusted His only Son to him to raise and to love, and thinking this I imagine he took great joy. (Just as a side note, I believe that every child is a gift from God entrusted to the parents to care for and love as God loves them, and children should bring great joy to their parents as they are reminded that God has entrusted them with the job of loving His children as He loves them.)

All of this is yet another example of how great is the love of the Father towards us, and how great is the sacrifice He made to call us His own. This is just another reason why I am eternally grateful for what Jesus did for me on the cross, and what God did for me in allowing His Son to come and give Himself for me.
"But God demonstrated His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, He entrusted His only Son Jesus Christ to another to raise and to love, and watched Jesus call another 'father' and die for our sins" (Romans 5:8 Paraphrased and Expanded)

Through the Eyes of a Child

Yesterday I was reminded of how simple life is through the eyes of a child. While we were getting dinner ready and getting all the ingredients together my mom asked one of us to get the evaporated milk. When Stephen (my little brother) heard that he got a great idea, we should make some evaporating cheese! in his mind it made perfect sense, if regular cheese comes from regular milk then you should be able to make evaporating cheese out of evaporating milk. Very logical.

Sometimes I think that "grownups" should take a few lessons from kids, we tend to think of things in illogical ways. "Don't be silly you can't make evaporating cheese out of evaporation milk, that's just stupid." No it isn't, it is imaginative and creative. Kids have an amazing ability to see things outside of the box, they aren't limited by what everyone else says is true or acceptable. I think that this is one of the reasons that Jesus said "Let the little children come to me..." children are not hindered by impossibilities. It doesn't matter if it is physically impossible to make evaporating cheese or fly to the moon in a cardboard box, in the mind of a child anything is possible. This is true faith, the kind of faith that can move mountains, faith that is not limited by what we see with our physical eyes or what others tell us. This kind of faith comes by seeing life through the eyes and mind of a child, a place where impossibilities do not exist and where "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me"