Friday, December 14, 2012


Jesus said, “Do You hear what these children are saying?” -Matt. 21:16 I continue to learn so much from my adult kids. Whether our kids are five or fifty, they know us well and if we're careful to listen, they'll provide us with great insight and instruction. Certainly, the parent-child relationship goes both ways and benefits both sides. God uses parents to teach and instruct and God uses kids to teach and instruct. God used my adult kids, Elizabeth and Eric, over Thanksgiving to teach me a couple of great lessons. The origin of a toast is pretty foggy. Some say its origins go back to ancient times. It's said that the practice of touching glasses was to test for poisons as each glass spilled over into the others. Others say it's from the custom in the 17th century of flavoring drinks with toast. Whatever the origin, it's seen now as a way of blessing anything from marriages to boats. We went to Silver Dollar City and had a great time riding the train, eating funnel cakes and enjoying the Christmas decorations. Afterwards, we had a late dinner at the Landing. Before we ate the meal, Eric raised his glass of water and said, "Here is to now." We all raised our glasses and repeated what he'd said. I soaked the lesson into my heart. It's a lesson I need to learn. I tend to focus too much on yesterday and tomorrow. I even tend to over focus on today. But I need to focus on NOW. Like Eric said, "All we have is now. Tomorrow can't be reached and yesterday is gone." It's obvious, but a lesson I see lived out in his life. He told me once, "Dad, you need to listen to more music." Again, he's right. I'm way too intense and focused. I do want to be intentional about what I do, but life is short. When Paul told the Philippians that "He'd learned to be content in whatever circumstances he was in," that's what he meant. He might be shipwrecked tomorrow, but right now he's okay because the sovereign God of the Universe was with him. Elizabeth is about to have baby number two in a month or so. She is a phenomenal mom to Reese, our beautiful granddaughter. She too, is a great wife to Mark who is working hard in his residency program. I admire the strength of Elizabeth a lot. She's tough. It's because she knows where her security lies. Today she sent a twitter saying, "Emmanuel, God is with us. So thankful for this promise today!!!" That really sums it up. Though Elizabeth is chasing Reese around, getting used to a new home and city and eight months pregnant, her strength comes from the Lord. It's hard, but it's okay. It's another lesson I need to learn. Though the challenges may be many, God always supplies the strength necessary to make it through the trial. Too often, when life is hard, it's not okay with me. I can be grouchy, impatient, and discontent. Elizabeth reminds me, "When God guides, He always provides." Thanks E and E, for teaching me again. You two are amazing. I am sure proud of you both and thanks for allowing the Lord to use you in my life. I pray that everyone reading this will allow God to use those closest to them to teach them, especially their own kids. Over the holidays, be "quick to listen and slow to speak" and have a teachable heart. Listen closely to your kids and family and the Lord will use them to teach you and impart wisdom. With or without a toast. By Eric Joseph Staples ©

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