"What man of you, having a hundred sheep, if he loses one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the wilderness, and go after the one which is lost, until he finds it? And when he has found it, he lays it on his shoulders, rejoicing. And when he comes home, he calls together his friends and neighbors, saying to them, 'Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep which was lost!'"
November 11, 2009
One of my sisters and her husband has a 7-year old deaf boy that they have guardianship of. Devin has had a cochlear implant from the time he was a small boy, but is just now learning how to distinguish words and sound with it. One evening my sister had him go tell her husband that supper was ready. He didn't come right away, and my sister had to end up hollering to tell him to come and eat. When my brother-in-law and nephew finally got to the table, my sister gave them a speech about it being rude to not come right away when she called them to supper, after her taking the time to cook it. Devin took all this in.
After supper he asked my sister if he could watch TV, and she told him sure. He told her that when she got ready to help him with his homework to just yell "Devin" and he'd come. She had her doubts and thought, "Yeah, I'm sure that's going to work!" Apparently he was sitting in the den waiting on her to call him, because as soon as she hollered his name he came running. When they finished he asked if he could watch TV again, and said when it was time for him to take his bath to yell "Devin" and he would go take a bath. Sure enough, he did! My sister was laughing when she was telling me this. She said she knew that he was probably thinking, "The other guys don't obey when she yells at them, so I'll hurry and come when she calls me. I'll show them!" She really liked this new game and said she hoped it lasted, because yelling at him was a lot easier than getting up and hunting him down.
Devin had seen what my sister's reaction was when the guys in the house took their time responding when she called them to dinner. He wanted to please her and show her that he would be obedient when she called him. In this instance, he didn't want to imitate the big guys and get into trouble, but wanted to do the opposite and show how well he did at responding when his name was called.
Children can be fickle sometimes when it comes to imitating adults. At times they want to be just like their mom or dad, and will try to emulate their actions. Other times, no matter how hard you may try, you can't get them to do what you want.
My sister and brother-in-law have tried to instill values into Devin's life and be examples that he can follow; with this exception. But a child has to get to an age where they begin to learn what is appropriate and inappropriate behavior. Devin has not always, and is not always, this willing to obey and respond correctly. It's still a learning process for him.
I babysit my niece's 5 month old little boy. Jax is picking up new sounds and actions every day. But he has no skills at determining whether what he's doing is right or wrong. He has learned that he has a voice, and is going through a stage where he will squeal (rather loudly). There is no rhyme nor reason to when it hollers. Sometimes his rather noisy squeals sound like he is in pain or is angry, but when you look at his face he's smiling and playing.
Recently, his mom was changing his diaper and playing with him. She was making noises with her lips, and he began to imitate her. The difference was, he is very slobbery and was blowing bubbles with his spit. He was imitating what he saw mommy do, only his version was messier and cuter.
Many times teens and young adults try to be the opposites of their parents. They do not want to be anything like their mom or dad; and they sure don't want to be told that they look like one of their parents. But as they mature and get older, often they begin taking on characteristics and mannerisms of their dad and/or mom. And when they begin raising children, they find themselves saying things to their kids that their parents said to them.
Sometimes Jon will move his hands a certain way or word something he's saying a particular way, and it will remind me of his dad. There are family traits that I see in Jon and his siblings that are very similar.
It's the same with me and my sisters. We have family characteristics and mannerisms that we picked up from our parents. The older we get, the more obvious it becomes.
Ephesians 5:1 says, "Therefore, be imitators of God as dear children."
So if we take mannerisms and characteristics that we picked up from our family whom we were raised with, how can be be imitators of God whom we have never seen? The scriptures continue with how we can imitate Christ.
In verse 2 the scriptures continue: "Walk in love as Christ has loved us and given Himself for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling aroma."
Walking in love is not always the easiest thing to do. Honestly, there are some people that I really have a hard time liking. I've heard it said that you don't have to like them, but you do have to love them. But it's hard to separate the two at times. There are individuals I don't particularly enjoy being around and don't care about spending time with them, but I don't want to see anything bad happen to them. Perhaps that's the line between liking and loving.
It's also easy to say you love "everybody", but a whole lot harder when putting that love into action is required. Words are cheap, but actions can cost you. It can mean us putting our pride aside, making time for those individuals that we don't particularly enjoy being around, and putting our own feelings aside and doing it because that's what Jesus would want us to do.
Being an imitator of Christ is not always easy. Sometimes our flesh slips in and we find ourselves reacting to people and situations in a rather ungodly manner. Paul wrote that he had to die to the flesh daily. I don't always do that, but I find that sometimes I have to just stop and pray that God would help me die to my own fleshly desires and actions so that I can become more like Him. There are days when I really don't like how I'm acting or thinking. That's when I need to get on my knees and die to self in order to act in a manner that is pleasing to God.
May we each die to our flesh daily and allow God to be seen in and through our lives. The world needs to see Christians who are imitators of Christ. Not phonies or fakes, but true genuine believers.
"Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery." It seems we always imitate others. At first, kids imitate almost anyone, especially someone who says a dirty word. Then they imitate peers. Then others. But we almost always try to imitate someone we respect.
It may seem daunting to try to imitate someone like Jesus, but we can start by imitating smaller things, like showing kindness, love, or faith.
Cheesy Potato and Ham Soup
6 potatoes -- peeled and cubed
6-8 carrots -- chopped
4 stalks celery -- chopped
1 onion - chopped
Put in a large saucepan and cover with water; cook until vegetables are starting to get soft.
1/2 -- 1 lb. Ham (small cubes or shredded)
1/2 - 3/4 box Velveeta Cheese
Fill remaining pot with chicken broth (approximately 1 can). Salt and pepper, to taste. Simmer until Velveeta is melted.
Add or decrease ingredients to pot size or desired amount. Leftovers are delicious too.
We have some friends who have three children; two girls ages 7 and 4, and an infant son. The two girls are as opposite as day and night. The oldest is very well behaved and exceptionally smart. The 4-year old, not quite as much! She is sassy and thinks she knows everything about everything; and she doesn't believe you when you try to tell her differently.
A while back the mom was holding the baby and he spit up. That led to a conversation about spitting up between the two girls that went something like this:
(Younger daughter to her older sister) "When you were a baby, you were the biggest burper of all!"
(Older sister) "You don't know that because you weren't even born yet; you were still in heaven."
(Younger daughter) "I saw you and told God, and He put it on Facebook!"
No snowflake in an avalanche ever feels responsible. - unknown
We hope everyone is having a wonderful fall season.
We love you!
Loretta & Jon