Plus and minus

Consider the plus sign and the minus sign.

Plus means positive, and minus means negative.

But look at them in relation to the cross.

The minus sign, the horizontal one – represents us here on Earth.

The vertical line represents Heaven and Holy Spirit.

When you try to do things your own way, you are working in the “minus” realm.

When you invite in the Holy Spirit, you’ve added in the vertical line, and you are in the “plus” category.

Welcome in the power of God, allow God to work in your life, and you are positive. Do it all yourself and you are negative.

Trust that God is in charge and it will all work out the way it should.

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Counting doesn’t count

I saw a lady whose son was hanging onto the gates near the door at the library. It wasn’t time for the family to leave yet, and she was trying to get him to come back to the children’s section. He was having none of it. He was about 6.

She looked at him and said “1.” Pause. She gave him a stern look. “2”. Pause. Another stern look. “2” she said again, looking at him like he better get the clue. And yet again, she said “2”.

I said “No, you have to say 3, otherwise 2 has no meaning.” She said three, he didn’t come, and she went to him, took him by the arm and marched him back to where he was supposed to be.

He cried, of course, and that is what she was trying to avoid. But if she isn’t firm and consistent with expectations and consequences, then she might as well not say anything at all.

Rules have to have consequences if they are broken. Otherwise they have no meaning.

Sayings “shhh” doesn’t mean anything either. The child learns that they yell, and Mom says “shhh”. It is just an exchange of sounds. The parent has to say “Please be quiet” or explain that “shhh” means that. Otherwise “shhh” is just a sound.

Then there was the mom whose child would not stay with her. He kept running to the door, or just away from her. She told him what to do and he kept not doing it.

There were no consequences. He had no reason to obey her.

It was yet another example of “Stop doing that or I’ll say stop doing that again.”

However you want your child to act as an adult, you need to mold them as a child. You are supposed to be a parent, not a friend.

Sure, they won’t like it. That isn’t the point. It isn’t child abuse to set rules and enforce consequences. It is child abuse to not do this. Otherwise they grow up wild.

Rocks and life.

Good habits are like the reverse of water wearing away at a stone.

If we are intentional and mindful about our lives we will create something really amazing. Good habits are like building a cathedral. Each stone, one at a time, is placed upon another. There is a plan to it and a lot of hard work. It isn’t built overnight, and it isn’t built by accident. It requires a lot of focus and discipline.

When we are intentional about our lives, every little bit counts and every little bit works towards a goal. We are building something amazing and strong.

If we are not intentional about our lives, those stones will end up being more like a field of rocks.

They will cause us to trip.

They will make the field unable to be used to produce a harvest.

Consider this – a stone, left untouched, is just a stone. But with vision and focus and hard work, over the course of several years, can result in an amazing sculpture like Michelangelo’s “David”. Perfection takes a plan, a lot of work, and time. It doesn’t happen on its own.

So how can we be intentional? What we read counts. What we do to take care of our bodies counts. Any classes count – whether a normal course of study or extracurricular.

It may seem like a little bit here and there. But over time, it amounts to a lot. Make it count.