June is considered by many one of the most popular months of the year. It is the month summer officially begins as well as the month of marriage for a multiple of beautiful blushing brides, bushels of babies being born, and one of our favorite holidays – Father’s Day. This year, it takes place on the 18th of this month, and the 2 Voices want to share with you why we highly regard this holiday that honors Fathers:
Fathers provide the seed for life, and God chose them to love, protect, and provide for their families in a special way. Fathers are to be the head of the family, while Mothers are the heart. Too often the roles and reputation of fathers have gotten overshadowed by many dads being MIA or filing for bankruptcy when it’s their responsibility to pay child support. A lot of dads are dead or living in prisons as well. Our list of dismal dads can seem non-stop.
Sue and Deidre both believe that they had great fathers who loved, provided, and cared for their well-being. However, Deidre missed out growing up with her Dad when she lost hers at the tender age of 9, and Sue lost her father shortly after beginning her teaching career.
So, whether you had a great, or good, or a “good for nothing” father, we want to remind you about the ULTIMATE FATHER. He is the one who cares for you, and the one who loves you more than anyone else ever could (John 3:16). His dearest name is “Abba,” which means “Papa God.” He knew you before you were born and has the best plan for your life. He loved you so much that He sacrificed His Son to provide you with eternal life – the greatest gift ever given! So as you celebrate the men in your life who are Fathers, or just like a father to you, remember to thank the One who made their lives and yours possible.
Isaiah 64:8 – But now, O LORD, thou [art] our Father; we [are] the clay, and thou our potter; and we ALL [are] the work of thy hand. (KJV)
How important is it for our young people to know why we celebrate Memorial Day? As a Social Studies teacher, I (Sue) felt it was extremely important, so I planned and produced a Memorial Day program for years that involved students, teachers, many meaningful slides, patriotic music, and a salute to the Army, Air Force, Navy, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard. My principal and I felt it was important for these 6th, 7th, and 8th graders to know about our country’s history, and the sacrifice many in our military paid throughout the years. Sometimes the adults in the audience learned something too, and that was a good thing.
Military service runs strong in our families. Sue’s Dad and Father-in-law served in the Air Force and Navy, respectively, during WWII. Her husband was a Communication Engineer in the USAF, retiring after 20 years, and Deidre’s husband is a 27-yr. US Navy veteran, retiring as a SCMSgt. She has other family members who are actively serving in the military or retired. The “Voices” know the cost of military service!
We all should remember this service and sacrifice because so many lost their lives to protect our way of life. They selflessly thought of our country and its citizens instead of themselves. The Bible says, “Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends” (John 15:13). This is exactly what our fallen military did; except they laid down their lives for many people they didn’t even know.
This Memorial Day is more than family gatherings, picnics, swimming pool openings, or the beginning of summer. It is a remembrance of those who served our country and lost their lives doing so. We salute and remember you.
This Sunday we celebrate Mother’s Day. Our mother was our first home – we grew and developed within her womb. God used her to give us life itself! This day is special for many, but can be difficult as well. Some people had traumatic experiences growing up and do not have pleasant memories of their mom. This day possibly brings painful memories back to the present.
For some like Deidre, this will be the first Mother’s Day without their mother. It will be a bittersweet day, remembering the good times, but missing the person. Sue understands, as she has spent the last four years honoring a memory, after losing her mother in 2013.
Just because your mother is not here physically, she remains always in your memory. The “Voices” want to take this opportunity to honor all mothers, whether they played an important role in shaping who you are, or simply gave you life.
The “Voices” have just returned from exhibiting our book and conducting two workshops at the Great Home School Convention in Cincinnati last week. What a privilege it was to meet so many families, see hundreds (literally!!!) of darling children, and encourage those who attended our sessions as we shared several of our platforms including:
Children Are Our Legacy
Show the Love of Christ Through Racial Harmony By Seeking Out Others of Different Cultures/Backgrounds
Be a “Sphere of Influence” Right Where You Are
To the Homeschooling parents who passed by our booth, we stressed that they have the gift of teaching in them because God lead them to homeschooling. Even when it gets tough and they are wearing “too many hats,” we encouraged them not to give up and honor the scripture in Deut. 11 that states: “Fix these words of Mine in your hearts and minds . . . teach them to your children, talking about them when you sit at home, and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.” That’s what these parents do every day and we were impressed with their dedication. Investing in eternity is an important job because they (and all Christian parents) are preparing their children to enter and change the world through God’s love.
We hope to return next year to meet, greet, encourage, and be encouraged by these wonderful people!
Yesterday – Palm Sunday – was the beginning of Holy Week, marking the time when Jesus entered Jerusalem to shouts of “Hosanna!” Only five days later He died on a cruel Roman cross as a sacrifice for the sins of all mankind. I recently read a description concerning this historical event that made an impression on me. Jesus was crucified on Friday of Passover week. Passover was the Jewish celebration of God’s deliverance for them from Egyptian slavery and His sparing of the first born from each family. God told Moses to have the people put blood from a sacrificial lamb on the doorposts of each home so the Angel of Death would “pass over” these families. It was a foreshadowing of what Jesus’ blood would do for us.
The words that impacted me as I read said, “Because Jesus is seen as the ‘Ultimate Sacrificial Lamb,’ anyone who accepts the gift of His sacrifice is said to have blood on the doorposts of their hearts. Therefore when the final judgement comes, God will pass them over. In Christ, believers are set free from the power and penalty of sin.” I hope those who read this post have such assurance of their own eternity. Easter is Resurrection Sunday and those who have trusted in Jesus for salvation will one day rise just as He did. What a gift and blessing!
My pastor, Bishop Vaughn McLaughlin, has taught and preached two awesome messages recently entitled, “The Gift of Mercy” and “Jesus Wept.” Both of these sermons have challenged and profoundly impacted my life as a believer in Christ because they helped me reflect more on God’s unselfish, loving gift to mankind as well as asking God to reveal my own motives for why I attend and serve at my church. There were so many strong points that were made and taught including one on the church bombings in Egypt and the question of Who the crowd mentioned in John 12:17-18, and really came to see as they cried, “HOSANNA?” If you want to know more about either sermon or both, I challenge you to watch/listen to those two archived messages on http://www.tphim.org.
Both of those messages helped me to fully understand why the popular saying and/or song, “For God I live, and for God I Will Die,” can no longer be just what I say or sing. It must be who I am, and what God knows in my heart that I would be willing to do when and if my number is called. I must be faithful unto Christ, and unto my own physical death if necessary. In times like these, I must definitely be willing to “Put up or shut-up!”
As we celebrate Easter 2017 with, “HE HAS RISEN-INDEED,” make sure your anchor is really holding onto to the Rock of Ages and not someone or something else. We must trust in HIM like never before because nobody else could do or would be willing to do what Christ did only ONE time for EVERYBODY in this entire world. After all, there is only one true ROCK. His name is JESUS!
The Two Voices say, “No,” not for everyone and especially not for parents and care givers. Our world can be a dangerous one for the most vulnerable among us – our children – so we want to encourage parents and other family members to be on the “look-out” for them during this season of spring break for young people of all ages across America and around the world.
Please pay attention to them – monitor their activities, hold them accountable for the places, people, and activities they plan to enjoy. Take some time to engage in family activities together like preparing and eating a meal around the dinner table, or simply enjoying a movie, popcorn, or pizza night at home.
“Let the good times roll.” Just remember, it is still okay to say, NO if you have doubts about the safety, appropriateness, or people involved with your child. “Hindsight is 20/20” some people say, but regret can last forever. Be pro-active and have a great week!
Nine or ten years ago I discovered a book at Sam’s that looked intriguing; so I bought it. I enjoyed it so much that I bought two more copies and mailed them off to Deidre and another friend. That book – The Shack – has been made into a major motion picture that was released last week (Mar. 3) amidst much fanfare and furor. Many people are excited to see the unique characters William P. Young created brought to life on the big screen, but others are warning that this story misrepresents God and could lead people astray. Where do the “Voices” stand?
While we realize that this story (the book) had moments that captivated the readers with the reality of God’s love, it also had important theological issues that could confuse or mislead. There is a difference between a fictional story and the truth of the Bible. While it may be comforting to observe the closeness of the trinity within the confines of someone’s imagination, the reality of the hierarchy of God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit, can only be found in God’s Word.
The Shack is a book that stirs our emotions. We agree with Tim Challies when he states in his review, “because of the emotional impact of reading good fiction, it can be easy to allow it to become manipulative and to allow the emotion of a moment to bypass our ability to discern what is true and what is not. This is another thing the reader must keep in mind. We cannot trust our laughter or our tears but must allow our powers of discernment to be trained to distinguish good from evil (see Hebrews 5:14). Discernment is primarily a Spirit empowered discipline of the mind rather than an emotional response.” (www.challies.com)
So while we plan to enjoy the movie version of this book, we dare not forget to draw a line between the emotion of the story and the truth of the Bible. We encourage you to do the same. God bless.