**Sorry I'm late today...taking care of the injured, you know. Thanks for all the emails and prayers! Hubby seems much better today, except for the black & blueness all over his lower back. He may go back to work tomorrow.**
14 I have given them your word and the world has hated them, for they are not of the world any more than I am of the world.
15 My prayer is not that you take them out of the world but that you protect them from the evil one.
2 Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.
My twins are at a tough age. They're approaching the Middle School years, when classmates are nice today and hateful tomorrow. Kids who happily play basketball with them at recess this afternoon may shun one of them the next day for reasons nobody can guess. To make matters worse, tweenagers (not sure I like that word, but it's certainly applicable) are trying out new words and gestures, (ugly ones), testing the waters, looking for reactions, and they're pretty sure the world ONLY revolves around them. It's difficult sometimes to keep my own boys focused on behaving in a way that's pleasing to God when their peers seem to be turning into foul-mouthed, angry preteens. Why aren't my boys allowed to cuss at their friends when one takes the kick ball away? Why can't my twins flip their middle finger at the teacher if she makes them mad? Well, basically because I will hang them from the ceiling fan by their toes if they do, but still...God calls us to be an example. Furthermore, we are told not to conform to the pattern of this world. In other words, as Christians, we should stand out. There should be something noticeably different about the way we act and react.
Recently, our family watched the movie The Day the Earth Stood Still. (I love netflix!) Although I don't care much for Keanu Reeves' acting skills and the movie was just OK, it gave me a really good opportunity to explain the verses from John 17 (above) a little better. You see, in the movie, Keanu plays Klaatu (a fitting name and not too hard a stretch for a someone with a strange moniker already) who's an alien from another world. Throughout the movie it's obvious that even though Klaatu has taken on human form, he doesn't belong here. He isn't comfortable with the ways of our world. He doesn't think the way we do and he doesn't react the way we would. Hmm...sort of like the way Christians should not stomp around acting like the world?
So the next time Pip Squeak came home upset because a classmate was hauled down to the office for cursing and throwing things at the teacher (using all kinds of words I didn't even KNOW existed in fifth grade) we sat down and had a talk. Pip wanted to know why his buddy behaved that way. I don't have a clue. Ah, but he also wanted to know why HE has to use self-control when he's angry and can't get away with pitching a full-blown tantrum in front of 30 people. Time for the Alien Analogy!
I explained to Pip that as Christians, this world is not REALLY our home. (So we're sort of like Aliens, since really our home is in Heaven.) We're here as God's children to serve a purpose. In the movie, Klaatu's purpose is to destroy humans and save the Earth. In reality, our purpose is to reach out to others and teach them about God's love. Our behavior is part of what makes us stand out as Aliens (Heaven-Bound) and should draw others to us. If we react in the typical way, shouting and pouting when someone hurts our feeling or makes us mad, then others will wonder, "What's so special about being a Christian anyway?" When we keep ourselves in check, people notice. When we turn away wrath with a soft answer, we can diffuse the other person's anger, too, making them more reachable. By behaving ourselves and holding onto to our emotions, we are being a light to a dark world. This is evident in Darling Daughter's life already, as her friends seek her out with their problems. They know she cares, and that for all of her loud and outgoing personality, she reacts with a level head and a calm manner.
Check your attitude this week. Be careful of your reactions toward others! Be an ALIEN, because THANK GOD this world is not our final destination!
Could you please continue praying for little Landon, as he is very sick with a cough right now. I'll know more in the next day or two.
Also, my hubby...he's on the mend, but back injuries HURT! Please remember my old man!
As always, your prayer requests are welcome in the comments!