THE DIFFERENCE, BUT DON'T NEGLECT IT!
"How do you tell them
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
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
...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
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
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
Never discount your own differences.
Your experiences are your own, ordained by your Heavenly
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
© 2011. Faith Matters by Lygia Lovelace. All rights