It’s October 1st! That means it’s finally here…the month, for us in America, of candy corn, jack-o-lanterns, kids in sweet costumes, and hay mazes. It’s the time for the best football of the year (Roll Tide!), kids’ soccer games, warm apple cider and hayrides through the golden fields. I hope you get the chance to indulge in a few of these treats before the frost is on the pumpkin!
For diggers, though, it’s time for a new study of things and people sanctified. I hope you have your shovels ready, because there are treasures waiting. Speaking of people who are ready, three ladies were ready with their live comments on the podcast last Monday night. Stephanie Vick will be receiving “Picking Melons and Mates” for her great comment about the sanctification of man in the very placement of a human soul. Allison West has chosen “Women of Troubled Times” for her call about the sanctified act of circumcision and Julie Orr will be getting “Picking Melons,”also. I had a great discussion with her about some practical applications of sanctification for us today. If you haven’t yet heard the podcast, be sure to go and listen at Talk Shoe.
And, finally, I solicit the prayers of those who can take the time to pray for several who have specific and urgent requests listed on the “Digging Deep for Encouragement” facebook page. I had the privilege to speak on Thursday for a group of women who are outside of the Lord. They were attentive as they learned what God expects of them in their obedience to Him. There are also several on that page who have had opportunities or are praying for opportunities to share the gospel with loved ones who are not in Christ. I especially would like to make October a month of prayer for those who are allowing a bit of the light of the gospel to begin to influence their lives and decisions. Several studies are still ongoing from our August month of personal evangelism. Let’s keep praying for these studies, too. And especially, during these very crucial days prior to the election, pray very fervently for the outcome–that ultimately God can be glorified through His people in these United States as a result of decisions made on November 6th.
Mama’s Kids in Service Suggestion #20 - Be the Attendance-mobile!
Over the past few years, one of the most requested topics on my speaking circuit has been a lesson in which I list a hundred ideas for training our kids to be servants. Service oriented kids grow up to be productive adult servants in the kingdom and it’s those people to whom the Lord will say, “Come ye blessed of my Father,” according to Matthew 25. So it matters if I’m making a real effort, as a mom, to put the heart of a servant in my child. For this reason, I’ve decided to devote a post, every now and then, to a service suggestion—a simple idea for moms to make their homes busy service centers for young hearts and hands. I’d love to hear from those of you who try them. So here goes:
My mom and dad tell the story of when I was a child of two and we regularly picked up an elderly widow lady for worship services. She would climb into the back seat with my brother and me. One Sunday, I said, “Somebody stinks.” My parents attempted to distract me and kept driving along (I think they knew I was a witness to the truth), but I said it a little louder. “Somebody Stinks!” Again I got no response and so finally I said it very loudly and very clearly. “Somebody stinks and I think it’s HER!” Even then, I started to learn about this business of being the attendance-mobile.
When I was a child we sometimes picked up Mrs. Shiflett, who lived in our neighborhood, for worship. Mrs. Shiflett was a widow, I think. (At least I never saw her husband.) I guess she did not drive or maybe we just picked her up when her car was in the shop. Sometimes we picked up her adult son, too. I loved it best though when we went to pick up Pam, my 2nd grade friend from school, on Wednesday nights. Pam and I were the queens of “silly” and we laughed all the way to Bible class and all the way home and probably a little too much while we were there. We picked up my sister’s friend Susan, too. Susan lived in the basement of an old upholstery shop on the Pratt Highway. She smelled funny and her teeth really needed fixing, but she was really very sweet in a timid kind of way. And there was Jeff from across the street. jeff was the only person we knew who had a real step-daddy. Then there was Catherine, Christopher and Patrick, whose mom left them alone with their father. They came many times, too. Lisa came home from school with me once or twice and she loved going to Bible study. She loved life in general. I also remember John and Becky. John went to high school with me and began attending with my family when I was about fifteen. It was his little sister, Becky, though, that later began attending, as well, and was baptized into Christ. I cannot recall a single time when my parents ever complained about the inconvenience of going miles out of the way, having to leave home early or the expense of stopping to get ice cream after services for all the kids piled (before child restraint laws) into that station wagon. There were some times when we had to look for change in and under the couch and under the car seats to come up with enough money for those quarter cones at Woody’s ice cream shop. I remember one Wednesday night, as we were ordering at the drive-in when my visiting friend John said, “Well, I rather prefer the parfait.” I tried not to gasp audibly, but I knew my parents did not have enough money for a parfait! We had never ordered one. I did not really even know what one was! I was amazed when my dad pulled out the dollar for the expensive parfait that looked like ice cream with syrup on it to me. I think my daddy had been holding out on us!
All of those stories of all of those children will have an end in one of two eternal places. In the worst of these particular stories, there is Chris, who died in prison of AIDS. In the best, there’s Becky, who lives even now as a faithful child of God in the state of Virginia. But Becky’s story may not even be the best. The best part could be that four Holder kids (that’s us) grew up with memories of very frequently bringing visitors to our services. The best part could be that all four of us are very involved in mission work to this day. The best part may be that our kids, too, have grown up making sure that Saturday night is the night we most often have friends over for spend-the-nights, because that way they are pretty sure to be attending Bible class and worship with us. It could be that my parents were just smart enough to be putting evangelism in us in a very direct way. I hope I was able to do that, too, with Caleb and Hannah. I hope they, in turn, can continue the tradition of being the attendance-mobile.
Every once in a while, I have heard parents say, “Well, we don’t really have enough room in our car to pick up __________.” These parents are often well-to-do and have more than one car. I wonder if they understand the value of this wasted opportunity. I wonder if they really want to bypass the amazing blessings that come in the backseat of a car when a child is most directly learning the value of bringing someone into contact with the Savior. I’m so thankful those opportunities weren’t lost on my mother and daddy.