Pollyanna and Fruits of the Spirit

Pollyanna, is a classic piece of children’s  literature about a young  orphan girl sent to live with her  grumpy aunt.  Despite the situation, Pollyanna always seemed cheerful.  Her cheerfulfness was the result of the “glad” game she would play with her father when he was alive.   The point of the game was to look for  for the good in every situation. 
I have to remind myself that througout the ages people have had wars, starvation, disasters, and yes, plagues.  We are faced with similar challenges, just like generations before us.  We call these unprecedented times, but looking back throughout history they have faced similar challenges. 
How do we get through these events?  It is far too easy to look at all of problems, instead we need to look for the positive!  As Pollyanna-ish as it may seem, I’m trying to mentally play the glad game.  The game is actually very easy to play and after a while my attitude is upbeat.  Just look at the  scores of volunteers who help family,  friends, neighbors and stangers. Countless number of volunteers are sewing masks and then donating, people are running errands for each other, helping  distribute food, giving blood, and the list goes on.   We can be glad…there is so much positive things going on around us if we just look and focus on the positve. 
I am reminded that the fruits of the Spirit, “love, joy, peace, patiences, kindness, goodness, faithfulness gentleness, self-control (Galatians 5:22) all are  traits in the classic novel, Pollyanna. I see the fruits of the Spirit all around me being demonstated everyday in a world that is full of chaos. 

Father’s Day

Father’s Day is June 21st.  Our day to celebrate dad’s.  We give cards with sweet and sometimes funny sentiments.  We might cook his favorite meal or eat at his favorite restaurant, or gather for a family barbque.  However for many, the day is a reminder of a dad that never existed except in a greeting card.  The absentee father, whether physically, mentally or emotionally can produce detrimental consequences that last for generations.

Proverbs 4:1-27 is referred to as a  father’s instruction to his children.  Dad’s are to provide sound teaching; a father instructs his children to:  verse 5: acquire wisdom and understanding; verse 14: do not enter the path of the wicked And do not proceed in the way of evil men; verse 23: watch over your heart with all diligence For from it flow the springs of life.  Wise words of instruction, but also it is words of action.  Children learn by watching and then by emulating.

When a father is absent, the risk is far greater that a harmful pattern will be established.  We learn from our parents both the good and the bad.  I think of Exodus 34:7 often referred to the as the “generational curse”.  Adam had sinned and his fall from grace is upon all of us.
Generation of failing. Adam lied, Abraham lied about his marital status when introducing Sarah to the King Abimelech, King David lusted after Bathsheba and conspired to murder.  Yet all by the grace of God, were forgiven, and became pillars in the Judeo-Christian faith.  Their children were not cursed, but the values or lack there-of created a pattern of sinful habits by their offspring. 
Not to dispair, because it is possible to break off the chains of self-destruction  and start a new.  Romans 11:11-24 shows us that with Jesus we are “grafted into a new tree”.  Jesus forgives our sin.  Romans 11:27 “This is My covenant with them When I take away their sins”.   

For one reason after another, a man’s spirit was broken and the harm it produced has been generational.  Our country cries out because too many have had their spirit broken and as a result the pain and bondage is passed down. As Christians we are to spread the Good News of the Gospel, share the Love of Jesus that he commanded; but  individually as Christians  and as a nation under God how hard are we really trying?