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Inspirational Articles by Lygia Lovelace






"How do you tell them apart?"


We are often asked that question about our 4-year-old African-born twins. As I look from one little girl to the other, I don't know how to respond. Emalee and Emerson don't look alike to me. Sometimes I even question if they are identical!


Yet to others, they look alike. Maybe even to each other they look alike. One day Emalee looked in the mirror and said, "Hey, there's Emerson!"


But they are not alike! God has created one so different from the other! If you have children, you know what I'm talking about. They are all so different! While gentle reasoning may work with one child, only firm insistence will work with another.


Emalee is our "feeler." While she is quite loud at demanding her needs (something she undoubtedly learned in the orphanage), she actually has a very quiet, gentle spirit. She hates to get dirty. She loves junk food, praise music, and long hugs. If scolded, her bottom lip will immediately quiver. If someone is hurt or crying, she immediately runs to them, asking, "What happen?" She is harder to "get to know," but once you've made friends with Emalee, you've made a friend for life! She loves and needs us desperately! And she loves Emerson passionately! Often we find Emalee in Emerson's bed, and she will always share with her and attend to Emerson's needs.


Emerson, on the other hand, is our "mover"! She likes hugs, but only for a second. She has a charming smile, and bonds quickly to others, but will move on when someone new enters the room. She isn't as loud as Emalee, but requires so much more attention because she is into everything! So far, she has colored herself and the walls, poured shampoo all over the bathroom, wiped toothpaste all over our bedroom carpet, emptied countless drawers, wiped lotion all over herself and her sister, ripped posters off the wall, run out the front door and down the street, poured coffee on herself, terrorized our 2 cats, taken all of her clothes off at church, refusing to stay dressed -- and that's just to name a few things! When scolded, she just runs -- as fast as she can -- to the next "no-no." Emerson also loves us dearly, and though she acts like she doesn't want our affection at times, she thrives on hugs and kisses. She loves Emalee fiercely. She will protect her with her own life, and she checks on her often -- between deeds of mischief!


The twins are learning to pray. The girls love repeating simple prayers after us.


One evening, Ken began our typical prayer with each girl. Emalee went first. She prayed beautifully, repeating everything exactly as Daddy had prayed. When it was Emerson's turn, Ken began praying. Emerson was repeating everything...


...until Ken said, "...and please help me to be a good girl..."




So, he repeated again, "...and please help me to be a good girl..."


Emerson peeked up at Ken with her big brown eyes, then she closed her eyes again.


"Umm...." was all she said. She certainly did NOT want to commit to being a good girl!


They're absolutely perfect. Oh, I know they're not perfect, but I love them completely! God knew exactly what I wanted. Josiah and the twins are definitely His gift to us. They need us; they love us; they keep us young; they give us grey hairs; they make us work hard; they make us laugh!


I believe that God celebrates differences, don't you? He loves our different personalities, our different colors -- everything unique about us! He created us as gifts to Himself, don't you know?


Over the years, I've been asked how I study the Bible. That question always makes me nervous. You see, I have always avoided books entitled How to Study the Bible. I am different! Some Bible study books and methods will make my eyes glaze over, and won't keep me awake during my morning quiet times. Others will inspire me to study the Bible harder, and challenge me!


It's true with every child of God -- what may seem like a "tried and true" Bible study strategy to one, may indeed be drudgery, or even too simplistic, for someone else.


But there is one commonality we must share: as children of God we must study the Bible. Do you agree? Finding it "dry," or hard to understand is no excuse for the lack of knowledge we may have of the mighty, active, convicting, and truth-teaching Word of God! We must study it!


Another thing that we must do is study the Bible! Devotional books, and books about the Bible can be wonderful, but it's certainly NO REPLACEMENT for God's Word.


There was a time in my life when I actually took a "book fast." I had become too dependent upon "how-to's" and other's ideas about the Bible. I put all those books aside, and just took the Word of God, with a spiral notebook and pen in hand. I asked God to help me, and I dove in. God was my devotional Leader and my Commentator -- it was a deep growing experience for me.


Now, though I use Bible study helps and love reading accounts by great spiritual leaders of both the past and present, I use my time with God as my time in the Word. The Bible merits the majority of my study time throughout each day. But I am constantly changing the way that I study His Word.


If you already have your own, personal "tried and true" Bible study going, wonderful! Continue to pray and seek God in your own personal study time. If He wants to "re-direct" you to another way to study, then He will show you.


If you need a fresh start, or a "jump-start" for Bible study, I would encourage you to begin praying now. Ask God to show you how He wants YOU to study His Word. Ask Him which book of the Bible you should start in. Ask Him for help and understanding as you study. This subject is, of course, very close to His heart -- He will answer you!


Then, just do it.


If you're like me, the hardest thing about it is getting started. But remember, this is our responsibility before Him. Do you love Him?


We are His children. He wants to parent us. He's graciously given us His book for help through life. Why would we neglect the Words from a Father who loves us passionately, fiercely, and unconditionally?


Over the next few weeks, if God so leads, I will write about different ways that God has shown me to study His Word. But again, they will be my experiences, coming from God's working through my differences.


Never discount your own differences. Your experiences are your own, ordained by your Heavenly Father.


Celebrate the differences! But don't neglect God's Word.


For the Word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit,
joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.
Hebrews 4:12







Copyright 2011. Faith Matters by Lygia Lovelace. All rights reserved. KenLovelaceMinistries.com

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