The First Joel

The First Joel – This week is special Sunday edition of my “amusings”, as it is our son Joel’s 33rd birthday, which seems hardly possible.

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Because We Say So – As a birthday greeting to Joel, I am sharing one of Eileen and my first pre-blog “A Dad’s Devotions” that we had prepared for Joel when he turned 21.

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December 24, 2005

Joel,

“Because we say so.” How you hated to hear that phrase. We usually tried to give you a reason for the things we told you to do (or not do), but sometimes it came down to simply because we told you so. And it was powerful enough to cause you to obey, which you usually did.

Well, today you can officially put that phrase behind you. You are no longer under its power. You are an adult and you can make your own choices. We hope that as you look back on your childhood you can see that mostly when we said so, it was the right thing.

We also hope that as you look to the future that you’ll find that many of the things are no longer things that mom and dad used to say, but they are things you choose. You choose them because they have become a part of who you are, a part of your character. You choose them because you know they are right.

As time goes by, and you face many decisions and choices, some hard and some easy, we hope that you can look back in confidence and say to yourself, “I wonder what mom and dad would say?”

This plaque {Joel is holding in above photo,} has some of the things that mom and dad would say. Keep it handy where you can see it often and be reminded of some of the things we’ve said were so. We trust we did more than say them, but that we also lived them as an example to you.

You’ve grown into a fine young man. We have always been proud of you and continue to be so. Live a good life. We are so thankful to God that He chose us to be your parents.

Love,

Mom and Dad

What The Plaque Said:

It’s Not Just Because Mom And Dad Say So Anymore

Trust In God ~ Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight. (Proverbs 3:5, 6)

Follow Christ ~ To this you were called…that you should follow in His steps. (1 Peter 2:21)

Listen To The Spirit ~Whether you turn to the right or to the left your ears will hear a voice behind you saying, “This is the way; walk in it.” (Isaiah 30:21)

Read The Bible Daily ~ It is to be with him, and he is to read it all the days of his life so that he may learn to revere the Lord his God and follow carefully all the words of this law and these decrees. (Deuteronomy 17:19)

Pray Often ~ “Call to me and I will answer you.” (Jeremiah 33:3)

Attend Church Regularly ~ Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another. (Hebrews 10:25)

Resist Temptation To Do Wrong ~ Do not set foot on the path of the wicked or walk in the way of evil men. Avoid it, do not travel on it; turn from it and go on your way. (Proverbs 4:14, 15)

Beware Of The Lure Of Wealth & Possessions ~ Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment. (1 Timothy 6:17)

Guard Against The Philosophies Of This World ~ Where is the wise man? Where is the scholar? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? (1 Corinthians 1:20)

Seek Spiritual Priorities Before All Others ~ “But seek first His Kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” (Matthew 6:33)

Be Generous In Sharing Your Time, Talent And Wealth With God ~ “Give and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.” (Luke 6:38)

Choose Your Closest Friends From Among Fellow Believers ~ A man of many companions may come to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother. (Proverbs 18:24)

Be A Good Neighbor ~ If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. (Romans 12:18)

Watch How You Conduct Yourself ~ Whatever happens, conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the Gospel of Christ. (Philippians 1:27)

Seek A Mate That Shares Your Faith ~ Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness? (2 Corinthians 6:14)

Be Thankful ~ Give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. (1 Thessalonians 5:18)

To Joel On Your 21st Birthday, December 24, 2005

With Love And Admiration, Mom & Dad

Finally This Sunday’s Amusing – No, I did not forget.

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It is also traditional to urge our children to reach for the stars as they embark upon adulthood and the “game” of life. A better piece of advice is to urge them to shine like stars in a world that grows darker with each passing day. The former (reaching for the stars) speaks to accomplishment. The latter (shine like the stars) speaks to character. Given the choice, we should seek to grow our character rather than grow our resume or our bank account.

By the way, Joel did prefer video games, his favorite was “The Legend of Zelda.”

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Happy 33rd Birthday Son, and Keep On Shining

Because Mom & Dad Said So!!!

You can read more of his story in the “Our Family Album” tab called “But God Looked On Able With Favor.”

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