Latchkey a corporate problem

Esther 2: 2-3,8:  As I am reading this, I think to myself wow! People sent their daughters off to live in the King’s harem.  Then I thought about how today we raise our daughters.  Then I thought about all the young single women who raise their children on their own.  Young girls who become pregnant at a very young age without any family or husband to support them. Maybe sending them off to live with the king was better.  They were protected from being sold into marriage to an older man who saw them only as “Eye Candy”.

The big question is do we take care of our families? Do we reach out and stay connected?  Do we raise our sons and daughters or do we allow others to raise them for us? Or are they raising themselves?  Unfortunately many are raising themselves without any guidance, no church, no neighbors. As latchkeys, my sisters and I were fortunate, sure as the oldest, much fell on my shoulders. But I had people to call.  Neighbors, an Aunt, the church taught me how to behave- no drugs, alcohol, but most of all no boys. The neighborhood store would extend credit to me if I need to get something for us. But today’s children are not so fortunate. They steal to eat, sometimes sleep in cars or abandon buildings. If they remember, they go to school where maybe they will get a hot meal, if someone filled out the right forms.

I know that many families sent their daughters to King Xerxes’ care.  Here is the question are we choosy about who raises our children?

Latchkey was a word invented to describe a child who got home from school before their parents did.  A child who ran around unsupervised all summer.

My sisters and I were latchkey children.  But back then the neighborhood watched out for us.  See our mom was a single parent back when it was not cool to be a single parent.

Today it is different the streets are full of latchkey kids.

We don’t have kings or orphanages to keep our children when we are unable to care for them.  And we turn our backs on our children when they mess up. We ignore the problem thinking it will go away.

Which is the problem.  We need to take care of our children. Esther was an orphan who was sent to the king because of her beauty.  It might not have been the best idea.  It wasn’t the best Idea when Joseph’s brothers sold him to slavers.  But God uses Bad situations to help us be better people.  The stories of both Joseph and Esther are stories of people in bad situations.  They both saved their people.

Today, I use growing up with a single mom as an example of how important it is to find ways to personally care for my children.  It is not easy raising children on one full-time income and one part-time income, but we did. When they made mistakes and they did, we are right there saying it is okay, we still love you.  Just as Jesus still loves us when we mess up, we have to still love our children and support them even if they mess up.  I know that there are parents out there with four to five part-time jobs between them. I know these people live day by day sometimes not making ends meet. The car breaking down is a major event.

That is why I am crying out to employers, start putting people first.  I get it, you don’t have to pay benefits if you hire people part-time.  Then don’t complain about parents not raising their kids. Don’t complain that many children don’t get a decent education. Don’t complain when bad things happen at schools, shopping malls, and street events. Because the bottom line is people make your company and if you took care of people,  great things will happen in your company.

There are companies that do put people first, take care of their employees, give back to the community, these companies are thriving. My prayer is that all the companies that think not paying their employees a decent wage with decent hours is a good thing; will find themselves right were their employees are.

We don’t need kings and orphanages to take our children. We don’t need to accept latchkey children as normal. WE need companies to return to the old ways. WE need companies that want loyal employees because they know their company has got their back.  I might work some over-time with out OT, if I knew that if I have a family emergency, I am not going to be let go. I might not look for a new job if my job meet my family’s needs.

Maybe Esther was placed in the care of the king for his pleasures and it was not a good thing. But God used this bad thing for His purposes. But that does not mean that he was happy that she was placed into a harem.

WE need to get back to Christian principles. We need to stop letting our kids do whatever they want without any supervision.

Then the king’s personal attendants proposed, “Let a search be made for beautiful young virgins for the king. Let the king appoint commissioners in every province of his realm to bring all these beautiful young women into the harem at the citadel of Susa. Let them be placed under the care of Hegai, the king’s eunuch, who is in charge of the women; and let beauty treatments be given to them.

When the king’s order and edict had been proclaimed, many young women were brought to the citadel of Susa and put under the care of Hegai.

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You are just a woman OR ARE YOU?

We are Children of God, the one true king. We are wives, mothers, sisters, aunts, and friends.

I want to be remembered as all of them. But I want to focus on the “Child of God”.

The last place I want to hear in my place of worship is that I am just a woman. I have a mission from God.  My mission is just as important as yours.  Yet sometimes, I hear what can I do, I can’t be a ministry leader, I am a woman.

Just because we are not at the top, does not mean that our ministry is less.  There are women in the bible who are mentioned by name such as Rahab (she was a prostitute)

Another prostitute which is just as acclaimed, was not mentioned by name at all – we know her as the Woman at the Well.

No you do not have to be a prostitute to have a mission from God – take Ruth for example, or Deborah, or Mary, Mother of Jesus. Another woman of impact was Naomi.  I want to be a mother-in-law like her.  (If I ever get to be a one)

I hate that phrase – just a woman.  When I was younger it had a different meaning.  It meant I was supposed to get married – into a good family and raise a family.  I was not supposed to do anything.

I was a soldier, I worked the corporate ladder for a while, not a pretty sight; I am a mother, but the mission that I kept overlooking; was the Child of God.  That was the mission I should have focused on from the day I became one.

If you went to my high school, my career choices and the occasional poor lifestyle choices probably surprise you.  But not my Child of God mission, which is to tell everyone I can that life with Christ is blessed and how to access these blessings. That would not surprise anyone that knew me in high school.  My army buddies, well that is a different story.  Everything I didn’t do in High School -I did those things. The one thing that surprised me is how I behaved when I made lots of money.  I was a stuck up B-word who looked down at everyone. Making a moderate amount of money is much better.

But if you think that just because you are a woman  your ministry is not important, then you do not understand the concept of a seed planted.

I wish I still had the pictures of my garden a few years ago.  It was huge and I only planted about ten plants.  The squash, the peppers, and tomatoes were all intertwined.  I had to tear down the whole thing to harvest anything. That year I gave away tons of spaghetti squash, tomatoes, and peppers.  I froze a lot of it. We had great spaghetti sauce that year.  That is the concept of one seed. A tiny seed is planted.  Then watered, and feed, and then it turns into a banner crop because God’s hand is upon it.

WHEN YOU ARE A CHILD OF GOD, YOU ARE NOT JUST A WOMAN! YOU ARE PART OF THE HARVEST.

 

Marriage is not DISPOSABLE

Valentines day is almost upon us. The holiday for Love. We send hearts, jewelry, candy and flowers, telling our beloved how much we adore them.  It comes after what is often considered  “divorce month”.  According to Focus on the Family, more couples file for divorce in January than any other time of the year.

In today’s society, we divorce for a multitude of reasons.  Infidelity, money, I thought I liked … but now I can’t stand them. I have heard I just can’s stand how they…

Then the other day, I heard someone say “everyone tells me I should dump my husband, he is addicted to meth”.  He is clean right now, I know he might not be tomorrow; but he needs me.

I remember thinking WOW someone that actually loves their spouse.  While I might not know about meth first hand, I do know the testimony of a couple of addicts.  One lost her children, was in jail several times.  One stole from everyone and finally wanted a big score and had jail time.

Not all families forgive their addicts. But this lady knew what to expect.  She was an addict.  She said, he might lie to me, steal from me, he might end up in jail.  But he is my husband, God gave him to me and I will Love him until one of us dies.  She had been clean for several years.  He had relapses and had only been clean for a few months.

But the important point: She said “He is my husband God gave him to me and I will LOVE him until one of us dies”. Her marriage is not disposable. 

See God did not intend for marriage to be disposable.  God intends for marriage to be for as “long as you both shall live”.

We have to learn to work out our differences.

STAND UP AND SAY, MY MARRIAGE IS NOT DISPOSABLE.   MY FAMILY IS NOT DISPOSABLE. 

1 Corinthians 13: 6-7 NIV

Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

If this valentine’s day your marriage is floundering, give the gift of I want to work this out- The gift of LOVE.

You can get help- many pastors/priests offer free marital counseling.

Focus on the Family: https://www.focusonthefamily.com/

Family Life Ministries: http://familylifeministries.org/

James Dobson: http://www.drjamesdobson.org/

Are just a few of the ministries that have counselors that are there willing to help.  Connect with one because your marriage is not supposed to be disposable.

 

Something Bigger than yourself.

Last night I watched a few Super Bowl commercials with the theme of unity.  The unity was such a big part of the commercial that I really don’t remember whose  commercial.  Part of that theme was service to others, getting involved, being something bigger than yourself.

In James 2, he mentions that faith without deeds is dead. My prayer today, is God show me what more I can do.

This concept that faith without deeds being dead, begs the question ‘I thought that salvation is free’? Salvation is free.  However, Jesus commanded us to “#LOVE one another”.

So what James is really saying is that we have to do for our fellow-man, just as Jesus did to show the same #LOVE to people who Jesus did. After all, he healed the sick, showed mercy to sinners (like me), and raised the dead.

THIS THEME OF UNITY AT A SUPER BOWL COMMERCIAL? RECENTLY, I HAVE SEEN THIS ON A FEW OTHER COMMERCIALS AS WELL. It strikes me funny that the advertisement world is turning on its ear.  A business that is centered around making money is now focusing on #PEOPLE?   

For the word of the Lord is right and true; he is faithful in all he does. The Lord loves righteousness and justice; the earth is full of his unfailing love.

Psalm 33:4-5 NIV

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