R.I.S.E. Ministries December 2012
CHANGING THE PATTERN OF PAST GENERATIONS
I remember the days when I was driving around Houston, Texas with fewer vehicles on the roads. I moved with my family to Houston when downtown had very few big and tall buildings; many areas where the present buildings now occupy were nothing but trees and bushes. While Houston was being reconstructed, I was still able to drive in and out of traffic with ease. Now, whenever I go out, I am more cautious because of the heavy traffic on the roads. Also, our ways of communicating through phones have drastically changed. I do not see too many telephone booths outside convenient stores or street corners anymore. Almost everyone is carrying a cell phone now. I have watched how many things have changed over the past decades.
About two decades ago, I could go into remote areas around the city to meet clients to present insurance and financial plans to them. During those days, I was driving into what Agents called "my territory". This was an assigned area specifically mapped out for one Agent because we had to service specific clients in a specific area which was called "territory." Unfortunately, I had to service clients in a remote area in Houston. It was also a very long driving distance from my house. My daily schedule was taking me to my office for morning meetings, and then out into "my territory". At the end of the day, I went back to the office to give my day's report before driving home.
I gave a brief synopsis of my daily work schedule 20 years ago to remind us that our lives are changing; whether we like changes or not. As we are getting older, so is everything else, and material possessions are also becoming outdated or obsolete. One huge change that I have seen within the last two decades is the drastic change in technology. We are bombarded with changes in all areas of technology, especially social media. The way we interact with others and the speed of how we do it is unbelievable! We must constantly keep up with the fast changes or be left behind. We must constantly renew our minds to keep up with life's changes. Renewing the mind means changing the way we think which will change the way we organize our lives and how well we interact with others today. I remember when I carried a pager on my belt as I go about my work. We did not have cell phones, iPod, iPad, Kindle, eBook; even computers were not very fast in processing information over the internet as today. Cell phones were big, bulky and heavy to hold; they even hurt the ear is pressed against it. Today, we do not have to even hold it; we simply attach it to the ear and move about while talking. We can even have a conversation with others in our cars without touching our cell phones. We have "hands-free" (Bluetooth) means of communicating with others. Almost everything can be done remotely or wirelessly. In this fast-paced world that we live in now, many businesses can be done through the internet. We can go to meetings, send information by text through cell phones, send quick information by emails, and transfer important documents in seconds, due to the constant change in technologies.
As I reminiscent about the past months; last week, and as I reminded myself how quickly we are heading towards Christmas and looking ahead towards another year, I thought about the paths that God had taken me through, the ones that He is taking me through now and the paths He has set specifically for my future. Regardless of how hectic my schedule is, I always pause during this time each year to reflect on past months. I take inventory of my life to see where I was and what changes had occurred; including challenges and how I reacted and solved them. We are to always take inventory of failures and accomplishments to prepare for what lies ahead (the unknown)! I learned to do this since the day I entered the business world many years ago.
I was watching a Christmas movie on television one day; the conversation was between a father and his son. While they were decorating their Christmas tree, the father was constantly stopping and gazing as if in deep thinking. The boy noticed him and asked him "what are you thinking about?' The father replied,
"Oh, I'm afraid", the boy asked, "what are you afraid of?" After a few seconds, the father replied, "I'm afraid of not taking care of the important things in life up till now." The boy replied, "Well, why don't you just write them down?" That young boy's advice was very good! After I watched the movie, I kept thinking about his advice. We must make a list of important things we want to accomplish so we can see them clearly. We are to also count our blessings and name them one by one; it will surprise us to see what the Lord has done! I took a piece of paper and wrote many of the blessings that God has so graciously provided for me and I was surprised to see how He has been constantly faithful to me despite my shortcomings as I sang this song: "Great is thy faithfulness, great is thy faithfulness, morning by morning new mercies I see, all that I need, your hands hath provided, great is thy faithfulness, Lord unto me."
I have been asked many times by someone if I would consider writing specifically to the younger generation (children, youth and young people). I have prayed to God about it and beginning next year, by His power, I will also start speaking through my writings to the next generation. The important thing in a person's life is their relationship with God through His Son, Jesus Christ. Our purpose for living is eternal life and where we will spend it. Therefore, we are to seek Him first through our prayers and praises; we are to worship and thank Him for everything (our daily breathing, families, possessions and more). As our bodies are changing and each generation is getting older and gradually exiting the earth, new generations are being ushered in. As times are changing, so is each generation. We are to take the time to pass on God's wisdom, try to leave good Godly legacy for future generations then pray without ceasing for them! I have heard this question before, but I never gave it a serious thought until I heard someone asked the question again recently. The question was this: "Have you ever heard the statement, "God has no grandchildren?" As I was thinking about the question, I also thought about why many parts of the world are celebrating Christmas. It is because of Jesus Christ! I realized that even though they are celebrating Christmas, many do not know the significance of Jesus' birth. I heard a Pastor made this statement recently: "To honestly celebrate Christmas, you have to deal with Jesus. Come join in the celebration because they love the festivities, the joy in the atmosphere, the beautiful sounds and music, and the gift exchanges. As I said earlier, in today's high-tech society, everything is changing with each new generation. A preacher said, "By the time a man or woman believes their parents were right, they have a son or daughter who thinks they are wrong." All generations should have their own belief in God and make their own decision about their relationship with Jesus Christ. My relationship and belief in God do not transfer to my children and grandchildren. My instructions, my patterns, actions or behaviors, or my culture may pass on to them but my belief and personal relationship with Jesus Christ is unique and non-transferable (the matter is between the two of us only and I have settled it with Him). It is possible that they may attempt to imitate my lifestyle and that is why we should be careful how we live our lives before them but more important before God. They must accept their own redemption through the shed blood of Jesus Christ. They must have their own belief about God. They must confess their own sins to God. We must ask the Holy Spirit to help us reach out to the next generation and tell them about the road to their eternal life with God. The Christmas season is a good time to start. Bringing old and young generations together and proclaiming the name of Jesus during this time is a great way of making sure that they know the reason for Christmas. There are many who are not here to celebrate this year's Christmas, and some were young who never had a chance to hear the true gospel of Jesus Christ. Time is of the essence and I feel the desire to begin ministering the word; especially the gospel, to the younger generation. "How shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard? How shall they hear without a preacher?" (Romans 10:14). Heavenly Father, I pray that you give my generation the courage to go boldly into the world to teach the next generation the reason for Christmas. Help our young people to realize that everything is changing as they are getting older and they must be prepared to face the changing times. I praise you for your many blessings. Thanks for giving the world the best and most precious gift; Jesus Christ! "And the government will be on His shoulders and His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the increase of His government and peace, there will be no end." (Isaiah 9:6-7).
RISE Ministries, Inc.