Monday, August 29, 2011

August 29, 2011 - Stand Strong and Stand Out!

Often times we hear of the home court advantage a team has. We think of the thrill of playing in front of our fans. We love that the crowd is behind us – on our side. It is encouraging to feel accepted. There is also a feeling of safety to be on one’s own turf…

Yet when I think back to my playing days I find that the place that comes to mind for me is not the home court but instead a gym where I can remember cheers when I messed up and jeers when I did well. To me it was really cool to have the crowd “against” me. It meant that I stood out as a player.

This is on my mind due to the fact that 4 of our kids have returned to public school. It is not that the Christian school kids were perfect but it was definitely a different atmosphere. In just 2 days at the public school both of my middle school boys have had items stolen; both have mentioned the incredibly vulgar discussions they hear in the hallways; there has even been a bit of bullying…

The initial thought is that they need to be back on their home court. Yet as I dig into Scripture I am reminded of Christ words that we are not of the world but we are in the world. I am reminded of His charge to be salt and light in the world. We are charged to make a difference. (See Matthew 5 and John 17)

I asked the kids last night during family devotions some simple questions. We were sitting in a brightly lit room and I asked what difference it would make if I lit a candle? Would that light stand out? What if we turned out all the lights and then I lit the candle? Then would the candle stand out?

I am very thankful that the Lord allowed my kids the time at the Christian school. It was a great addition to our training in the Word, while being a fantastic education. If I had the money they would probably still be there. Yet I am also thankful for the opportunity for my kids to be “lights” in their present schools. My prayer is that they stand strong and stand out. If there are jeers from the crowd count that as a badge of honor!

Church, my prayer is the same for you. I am thankful for the time we can be on the home court and be encouraged by other believers. Yet the season has to include “away games” if we want to be the salt and light that Jesus called us to be.

Church, stand strong and stand out!

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