Great Expectations 2

More hope, less fear.  More love, less condemnation.  More power, less helplessness.  More joy, less worry.

I pray these things over my kids.  I expect that because they know the way to walk with Christ that they will have hope, love, and joy.  And I pray that when they get handed a flier announcing the “Coming Judgment and Wrath of God” that they will be confident of their salvation.  But WILL they know that they have hope against all odds?  WILL they know that their trust is not in riches, power, or politics?  WILL they embrace each day with joy, peace, patience, kindness, and love?

Recently, my college student received a tract from the boisterous evangelist on the Syracuse University campus.  He was visibly disturbed.  As he waited for us in the doughnut shop, he read the packet. When we came in, he said, “This is pretty awful. There’s a lot of bad stuff that happens.”

So true, so true.

If we live apart from Christ, there is a lot of bad stuff that happens.  We face eternal death in the lake of fire designed for the devil and his angels, and we face separation from God.  To fear death is good motivation to trust in the one true God.  But is this enough?

As we discussed the packet and the in-your-face evangelism that the local preacher demonstrated on the side walk in Syracuse, I was reminded of a verse.

1 Corinthians 15:55-57 says, “Where, O death, is your victory?  Where, O death, is your sting?  The sting of death is the law.  But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.”  Death is real!  It is inevitable!  BUT WE NO LONGER FEAR DEATH! Because of Jesus’ death on the cross, we have victory over sin.  So we do not fear death.  We have the opportunity to live righteously on the earth knowing that our hope is in Christ.

So I continue to pray. I expect my kids to be turned to the Lord and embrace their walk with Him.  I pray that the Holy Spirit will guide them.  And I expect many, many discussions in the future about the scriptures and how it impacts them.  The love of Christ is manifest in many forms and verses.  I pray that ALL my kids would know the fullness of Christ and fellowship with Him, whether they are in college, school, home, or the community.  I have great expectations for them in Christ.

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Great Expectations

The snow fell as we made our way to the Carrier Dome.  The air was crisp, and we hiked the hills with gusto with crowds of young, old, and in between, all dressed in orange.

The entry was simple.  Ticket ringer, security scan, and searching for a seat.  Higher, higher, and higher in the dome.  The seats were on the VERY TOP.  It made my 10 year old a little dizzy, but we savored the moment.  Just the three of us cheering, shouting, and savoring.  Soon, the rest of the family showed up.  The air in the dome electrified as students shouted during the basketball game.  Balloons flying, whistles blowing and fun cheering, “Let’s Go Orange!”  The Orange stayed ahead the whole game.  They pulled out a win, and the fans stormed the court. Next stop, the Mighty Oaks basketball game just down the street.

In the small school gym, we saw a great game between the ESF Mighty Oaks and the Vaughn college team.  The Mighty Oaks maintained a two to ten point lead the whole game…except the last 2 minutes.  Vaughn caught up, scored to get ahead, and forced ESF to foul at the end.  Final score: Vaughn 79, ESF 69.  Another loss.  However, next week our struggling student gets reinstated to the team.   According to him, if he had played… they would have won.  When he makes changes to his work and finishes a great essay, then he’s back on the court.  When his professor changes his grade, then he’ll be able to play again.  He’s learning his lessons and how to work hard.  He has great expectations.

We visited our college student today and saw him in his element.  He’s on the basketball team, he’s got a girlfriend, and he’s a “big” man on campus.  Our adopted son is growing up.  He’s seen the hard work needed to do well in classes, and the consequences of losing focus (probation with the basketball team), but he’s got great expectations.  There’s much more to come from this young star…