A Proud Parent

Among the greatest blessings of living in our little farming and ranching community, is how we share our lives. I enjoy saying, “We know when folks are married and buried.” We pray when someone is ailing; we celebrate achievements and milestones together, and we pitch in to help our friends and neighbors whenever we can. I grew up much like this, but I spent most of my working career in big cities. A very different way of life there; with “big city” mindsets of keep your head down, think of yourself first, and keep most folks at arm’s length.

Whether or not you know me, chances are if you visit the Cross-Dubya, you’re going to get a tour of the ranch and its history. I’ll show you each cow and let you hand feed the donkeys. Once you know your way around, I’ll sit in the rear of the UTV so Bubba can take his place in the co-pilot’s seat beside you for the ride back. If you’re a rancher, then I can give you each cow’s lineage; and recite their vaccination record. When I come to your place, I get the same. We don’t do this to brag about ourselves, but to share all the wonderful blessings God provides in our lives.

Often, we’ll stand out on the porch or lean on a gate and just look over the place. We’ll talk about the coming harvest, auction and feed prices, and other news and events happening around town. It’s a comfortable, laid-back lifestyle. And while some may think our un-rushed way of doing things is less productive, I assure you that is not the case. I think our inner peace is a natural outcropping of living without all the sirens, horns, traffic noise, and constant interruptions. Country folk have learned the secret of living in concert with our surroundings.

Still, get us talking about high school football, agricultural issues, or cattle breeds and our preferences, and we can get more than excitable. In our little farming and ranching community, we share our lives. I can’t help but think this is what God intended for mankind. The biblical word for living in this manner is koinonia. A Greek word often associated with fellowship, examined more in depth it means to “share everything with one another, and with Christ.” It’s hard to do that when you won’t lift your head to smile and look another person in the eye.

Sometimes I like to think God is like a proud parent at their child’s dance recital or football game. I smile, imagining Him looking over at His angels and saying, “Did you see what my kid just did?”

Does God have a scrapbook of all our accomplishments for His kingdom? Click To Tweet

Many Christians today are deceived; believing God maintains a score card or ledger, and if they do more good than bad, they’ll be admitted into heaven. Being a Christian isn’t about keeping score; it’s about surrendering your will to God so He can do His transformational work to make you more like Christ. As you grow and mature in your faith, you’ll find your works become more about bringing God glory than yourself.

While all of our works since the moment of our true salvation will be judged after we’re raptured, it isn’t to determine your eligibility to be in heaven. It’s to determine the rewards you keep. Using the Parable of the Talents (Matthew 25, 14-30) as an example, it’s important to understand the concept of sowing and reaping. What we do with the blessings God has given to us is less about what we do here, but what we will do in eternity.

How we steward all that God gives us says a great deal about our relationship with the Lord. If we long for and expect Christ’s impending return, then we will work to expand His investment in us by working in His service. Our works will show our desire to give back to Him more than He has given to us.

I suspect many of you share my longing that God views me as a proud parent. May we each one day hear the words we’ve worked toward throughout our Christian lives; His lord said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant; you were faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord.’” (Matthew 25:21, NKJV)

To remind myself of the importance of what I do with each day, I have a note on the whiteboard in my workshop’s office that never gets erased. The last thing I do at the end of each day is to glance at that whiteboard, just before I turn off the lights. The question is, “Have you made God proud today?” To me, it reminds me to take stock of everything I did this day. If I followed Christ’s teachings and the Holy Spirit’s guidance throughout my day, I can rest peacefully knowing I’ve honored Christ’s sacrifice. If not, then I know I’ve got some more praying to do. I hope you’ll consider how you might answer that same question this evening.

God’s blessings,

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Please join me each Thursday evening at 9:30 Eastern as host Coach Mark Prasek and I take a trip Around the Cross-Dubya. We discuss this week’s blog post, offer insight about the lessons learned, and enjoy the fellowship of friends in the live chat room.

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36 thoughts on “A Proud Parent

    1. And to you also Ms. Martha. My adopted Dad taught me many years ago that I should make an account of all I did each day. If I fell short, I need to confess and try harder the next day. Ending the day with the feeling that I made God proud of how the day of life He gave me was worthy is a great feeling.

  1. Beautiful message, J.D. Love the idea of God having a scrapbook with our kingdom accomplishments. I used to be a big scrap-booker. Making many for myself and our parents, the kids’ grandparents. Marking memories of of activitites and accomplishments. So thankful the Lord is always standing by with endearments, “That’s my girl!” Or, “That’s my boy!”

    1. I sometimes wonder what the Bema Seat will be like Ms. Karen. I picture it as a fast-paced slideshow (almost movie like) that show’s the highs and lows of our lives. I pray that mine shows that as I grew in Christ, whenever I hit a low, it was immediately followed by a high with Christ by my side. He’s there, because I learned to “do life” with Him. See you there my friend.

    1. One day Ms. Karen; you and Mr. Russ are going to have to make a long weekend and come visit. Ms. Diane and I would love to see you two; and we’ll have a great time feeding Magic, Elpis, and all the cattle. Don’t forget your muck boots. 🙂

    1. Thank you Ms. Ann. That question has been up there for seven years now. I’m not planning to find out, but I’m betting it’s non-erasable by now. It certainly is in my heart. God’s blessings dear friend.

  2. Your white board note reminded me of I Corinthians 10:31 – So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.”
    It’s so good to be conscious of the Lord every day! I need a note like that too.

    1. He certainly is Ms. Dee Dee; all the time ma’am. 🙂 I love when the calves get the “Zoomies” on a cool morning. Watching them “high tail” all around the pasture just naturally evokes a smile doesn’t it? God’s blessings ma’am.

  3. I feel like you do take us on a tour of your ranch (thank you!) and that we, as your friends and readers, join with you and Diane, sharing in koinonia through your blog. Thank you, friend.

    1. Ms. Cathy; what an honor it would be to take you and Mr. Brian on a tour one day ma’am. If not in this life, then in the next. I’m praying God makes me one of the caretakers of heaven’s cattle. They’ll be scattered over a thousand hills ya know. 🙂 God’s blessings ma’am. Until the day…

  4. As a farm girl living in a close knit community, I share that joy in the more simple life–the closer connection to God’s creation. Loved the word picture tour of your ranch. You’ve shared an inspiring reminder of the importance of working for the Lord with all our heart. Thank you!

    1. Thank you so much Ms. Katherine. Am looking so forward to the day when we can share community with you and “Farmer Bob” on heaven’s shore ma’am. Oh what a glorious time we’ll have. God’s blessings gentle lady.

  5. Sir, you made me want to come visit and get that tour and meet all your wonderful animals. I might even be interested in the lineage! Maybe one day.

  6. I enjoyed this blog JD, as I do all of them. But this speaks to how I was raised and how I live still today. We live in a Borough. That’s too small for a city or township in PA. I know my neighbors and they know me. We help each other out and share in their joys and sorrows. It reminds me of the Gaither’s song, “I’m so glad I’m a part of the family of of God!”

    1. Thank you Mr. Ben. There’s nothing quite like small town life is there sir? It’s funny, but not long after we moved here, Ms. Diane noted that living in tiny Cooper, TX was not that different from Melrose Park, IL, the small suburb she grew up in. Lot’s more folks there, but within the Italian-American neighborhood she grew up in, everyone knew everyone; and everything about everyone. Remember the party line telephone? LOL And, I am so very glad to be part of the family with you my friend.

  7. Rural life has a charm all its own. I’d give up city life in a nano second to move to the country. I love your descriptions of your ranch and your animals. And I especially appreciate your question on your whiteboard. May we all learn and be blessed by your godly wisdom, J.D. Thank you!

    1. If you and Mr. Harrison ever need an infusion of rural living, and you can’t get back to the homestead in KY, please know y’all are always welcome here for a long, restful weekend. Bring your muck boots though. 🙂 Thank you as always for all your kindness and encouragement Ms. Karen.

  8. I’ve been out of town and am just now reading this post. I kinda got stuck on the question about the scrapbook! I love to make scrapbooks and thought about what might be in God’s scrapbook for me. Food for thought.
    What a great question of contemplation on your whiteboard. Whenever a writing submission is rejected, I feel as if I have failed my Lord someway. But I try, try again. Just recently as I attended a funeral, I was reminded of how precious each day is and how we need to live it for His praise and glory.

    1. I can appreciate your “failing” thoughts when rejections come, but I’ve learned to accept them as a sign that it’s not where God intends it to be. As much as rejection hurts, going to Him in prayer gives my the soothing reassurance that being a “Light Writer” remains in His will for us. The rejections simply make the successes more sweet my friend. God’s blessings ma’am.

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