[forthright] Encouraging Our Son To Be ... /Milk and Honey

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From: Forthright Magazine <forthrightmag@...>
Date: Fri, 29 Sep 2006 13:14:26 -0500
Forthright Magazine
Straight to the Cross

Encouraging Our Son To Be ... by Tim Hall
Milk and Honey by Paul Goddard

COLUMN: Heavenly Connection

Encouraging Our Son To Be ...
by Tim Hall

The fact that I received the "Thank You" note
didn't surprise me. I occasionally receive those
for helping out with funerals, weddings, or gospel
meetings. But this note contained a comment that
did surprise me. It's a comment I've seldom heard
in my years of serving as a preacher.

In the note the fellow mentioned how his young son
had taken careful notes during the lessons I had
presented at his home congregation. He then added,
"We are working hard to encourage him to be a
preacher." I have reflected on that comment with
joy many times since reading it.

I suppose every parent has dreams about what their
children will become. Though we may not always
reveal those dreams, we wish for them prosperity,
happiness, and some degree of fame. Some parents
project their own unrealized dreams upon their
children and apply pressure to try to make their
child attain goals not their own. "I want them to
have a better life than I was able to have," is a
statement often heard.

But what about this dream that their son become a
preacher? It's unusual to hear a parent say that.
Is it because we want our sons to "do better" for
themselves? Are we concerned for their image in
the community? Why is it that so few seem to want
their sons to go in this direction?

Jesus once observed that "The harvest truly is
plentiful, but the laborers are few. Therefore
pray the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers
into his harvest" (Matthew 9:37,38, NKJV). Here is
a command from our Lord -- to pray that more
laborers be sent into the harvest. Do we pray this
prayer regularly? Are we doing what we can to make
this prayer come true?

We're not advocating that any mothers or fathers
push their sons into the ministry. If a person is
not comfortable with that vocation (as with any
vocation), they will not do well in that field.
But perhaps we need to adjust our talk. Instead of
only asking little boys if they want to grow up to
be firemen, professional athletes, or doctors, we
should also ask if they've thought about becoming
preachers. If no one ever mentions the
possibility, why should it occur to them to
investigate that work?

There's no greater life than serving the Lord,
whether it be full-time ministry or serving in
other ways. Let's make sure our children hear that

"I press toward the goal for the prize of the
upward call of God in Christ Jesus" (Philippians
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COLUMN: Up for the Task

Milk and Honey
by Paul Goddard

"Every brave man is a man of his word." -Pierre Corneille
With your permission, I would like to give you a
short Bible quiz. Name the twelve spies that Moses
sent into the land of Canaan. Can you do it?
Chances are you remember Joshua and Caleb, but
what about the other ten?

Why is it that we do not remember: Shammua,
Shaphat, Igal, Palti, Gaddiel, Gaddi, Ammiel,
Sethur, Nahbi, and Geuel? The answer is simple,
they lacked courage and feared the fortified
cities of their enemies. They lost hope in God's
promise of a land flowing with milk and honey
(Numbers 13:1-33). Likewise, these ten men wanted
to stone Joshua and Caleb for challenging their
faith. In their disbelief, the entire nation of
Israel suffered (Numbers 14:1-45).

Do you have the courage to do God's will (Hebrews
11:4-40). While others may grumble, let us never
lose sight of the land of rest (Hebrews 4:1-13).
May we always keep our eyes on this everlasting
inheritance (Hebrews 10:23-25). Christian, are you
up for the task?
"O land of rest, for thee I sigh!
When will the moment come,
When I shall lay my armor by,
And dwell in peace at Home?"
--Elizabeth Mills
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