Daughter, wish you’d come pull off my boots.”
–Ernest Haycox (The Border Legion)
“Fathers, don’t over-correct your children or make it difficult for them to obey the commandment. Bring them up with Christian teaching in Christian discipline.”
–Ephesians 6:4 (Phillips)
She almost made it; well, at least it’s Friday. It was 45 years ago, my mercy! on Good Friday, that a blonde, no not quite right, bald-headed, blue-eyed little girl was sent by the Lord to brighten up our lives. I was stationed at the USAF Academy when Shauna entered our lives. What memories I have! In fact, we were talking the other day about her first birthday. We had a little party with her cousins, Carrie and Sherrie who were born on the 10th several years before. Shauna was laughing and making a mess. He was enjoying her ice cream, (ahem with her hands) and then started crying because her hands had become cold.
The years rolled on. A move, another move, another… Now, she is actively working in the children’s ministry of her church in Maryland. Once in a while I was told that I was too hard on them, but I couldn’t be more proud to know that they love the Lord and are serving Him faithfully–Shauna and Kimberly both! To me, that is the purpose of life–to make sure they are properly trained and on their way to heaven.
Here is a lesson I tried to instill in them. Today, more than ever, there is so much out there that is fake; we are surrounded by superficiality. There is very little common sense, and stupidity and evil are beginning to reign. We are confronted on every hand by something external, yet the Bible teaches that the most important part of man is internal. “The heart is the mainspring of our being. It is the center that controls our thinking, feeling, and desire. It is the secret chamber that controls our whole life.” (Ralph Heynen)
Courage, honesty, integrity, love, and other virtues flow from the inner self and express themselves in our conduct. Fear, hostility, hate are also born there. We must guard the gates of the heart so that the evil desires and longings may not rise up to hurt us. That is part of the purpose of proper training and discipline.
Heynen, continues to say, “To truly guard the citadel of our inner selves, we must encourage that which is good and lovely, honorable and clean. We must bring ourselves under the control of noble ideals, of uplifting thoughts, and of motives that lead to confident and courageous living. When we allow fears and hostilities to fester in our hearts, our lives will be colored by them.” (cf., Philippians 4:8)
It is what we are that counts. When Jesus touched a person, He would often give them some kind of admonition, such as, “Go and sin no more,” or “Take up your bed and walk.” Never once did He say, “stay the way you were.” Change takes place and then comes our part as we grow in the Lord, to discipline that change, to train our hearts, minds, and bodies. When we are being trained by the Holy Spirit, and that includes others in our lives and our own work, then when we find a time we need Him we will be able to find Him easily for He is already working and living in our hearts.
David pleaded with the Lord that He would create in him a clean heart. We need the Lord to continue to work in us–training is never over.
Today in the Texas Revolution: David Burnet and cabinet barely escape the arriving Mexican army. Santa Anna crosses Fort Bend on the Brazos River.