Author Archives: tamirr

We, the People

“We, the people.”  What do you think when you hear that phrase?  My heart does a little pitter-patter and I swell with pride that I am blessed to live in these United States of America.  I tend to get sappy and all goose bumpy when I hear that phrase because I know all that has been sacrificed for me to have the freedoms that we experience by living here.  I am proud to be an American!

Then I pause and think about what does it mean when I apply that phrase “we the people” to the church?  “We” being the people of God.  Again, I get all emotional and realize that I have done nothing to deserve the freedoms that I have in Christ Jesus. But I know that because of my baptism, my obedience, I have been chosen to be a part of a people for God’s own possession. A holy people.

Moses told the people in Deuteronomy 7:6,  “For you are a holy people to the Lord your God; the Lord your God has chosen you to be a people for His own possession out of all the peoples who are on the face of the earth.”  He tells them they are a holy people.

Then in the New Testament we hear the words of Peter as he uses phrases from the Old Testament to remind them of who they are. 1 Peter 2:9-10, “But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for God’s own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light; for you once were not a people, but now you are the people of God you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.”

First in the Old Testament and then again in the New, we have God’s people referred to as holy.  We are a holy people.  We are holy because we belong to God.  We are holy because we are “in Christ Jesus.”  We were made holy by our obedience.  But do we really understand the depth of what it means to be holy?

Leviticus 11:44, “For I am the Lord your God. Consecrate yourselves therefore, and be holy; for I am holy.”  So we see here that holiness separates us from unholy because we have been made holy because we belong to God.  It also shows us that we must consecrate ourselves.  Consecrate means to dedicate or perfect.  It is not just the resulting state of being holy but also the conduct that is befitting to those who are separated.  We can see this in 1 Peter 1:15 where it says, “but like the Holy One who called you, be holy yourselves also in all your behavior.”

Satan works so hard to deceive us and stirs that desire in us to “fit in.”  We see it in the way Christians dress, in the way they talk, the way that they set their priorities.  Satan is doing a very good job in his effort to keep us from being a holy people. And most of the time we don’t even realize that we have allowed Satan to win. Oh, he’s not getting God’s people with sex, drugs and alcohol. He is blinding them with worldliness. He has made them forget what it means to be holy.

We should be striving each day for holiness.  Remember we are made holy because we belong to God, but our conduct MUST reflect a holy people!  We must let those around us SEE our holiness! Turn Satan and the world off! Quit listening to that voice that tells you that you need to fit in to this world.  It’s a lie! We don’t want to be “of this world.”  Jesus knew the world would hate us.  He prayed about it in John 17:14-16.  “I have given them Thy word; and the world has hated them, because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. I do not ask Thee to take them out of the world, but to keep them from the evil one. They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.”

For us to save souls and to glorify God we MUST be in the world, but we have to remember that we ARE NOT of this world! We are a holy people!

I challenge you to be holy! When you hear the phrase “We the People,” remember that you are part of a holy people! A people chosen by God to be His! Let your holiness be reflected in all your behavior! Be proud to be a Christian for you are part of the people chosen of God!

By Tami Roberts
Tami and her husband, Wayne, serve with the Parker church of Christ* in Parker, CO. Wayne serves as the minister and evangelist. Tami and Wayne are both instructors for the Bear Valley Bible Institute of Denver. They have been married for 30 years, have five children and three grandchildren. More than anything, they enjoy spending time with God’s people.

* Editor’s note: There are some excellent podcasts available on the Parker church of Christ site. Be sure to download a few and listen (click here).

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Lay Down Your Life

FROM THE HEART OF AN OLDER WOMAN 

As I bring this series to a close I wanted to share what I believe to be the best advice I can give a younger woman, have a RELATIONSHIP with God. I mean a real relationship, like you would with a best friend or better yet, with your husband. A relationship where you talk and share all of your feelings. A relationship where you so desire to please Him that you would do anything for Him. A relationship where you would “lay down your life for a friend”.  (John 15:13)

God created us to have a relationship with Him. He has a desire for us to walk with Him. We can look to the Old Testament and see the relationship He desired with Adam and Eve. We watch how He talked with the patriarchs, working to prepare a people that He would have a special relationship with. We see the children of Israel, how God becomes frustrated with His people because they don’t desire the same relationship that He desires to have with them. He even compares them to an adulterous bride. (Ezekiel 6:9)

We want a relationship with our husband that goes both ways. We love him and do for him because we love him. We expect the same from him. We want to talk with him each day about the happenings of the day, about the things in life that are important to us. We want someone to share our joys and our burdens. We want someone to spend the rest of our lives with in a relationship that is growing and fulfilling, where each day is better than the last. That is the relationship that God wants with us.

As we grow as Christians, our relationship with the Father should be growing too. Our hearts should continue to soften as we learn more from His word and work to apply it to our lives. Make sure that you are growing spiritually! This will not happen just by sitting in Bible classes and in worship service. Oh those times can be very spiritually uplifting but they are not the times that make us grow. We must be in God’s word so that He can feed us and cause the growth. But He also causes the growth when He uses us to bring glory to Him. We must be doers! (James 1:22) I can’t work my way into heaven, but I sure can work my way into hell by doing nothing. We must be careful about using God’s grace as a safety net to use when we don’t want to make the complete transformation in our lives. Do we continue in sin so that grace may abound? May it never be.  (Romans 6:1)  We need to realize that God’s grace is the best gift of all and covers our mistakes but will it cover an unwilling heart?  Those are the hearts that God calls “adulterous.” Those are the hearts unwilling to commit to a faithful relationship with the Father.

I know that my advice on raising faithful children can sound “legalistic” to some ears.  I sound like a “law keeper.”  But part of a committed relationship is abiding by some set commitments. We see this in marriage.  We don’t want our husband paying more attention to other women than he does to us. We don’t want him spending more time with other women than he does with us. He made a commitment; we expect him to be faithful to that commitment. We see marriages fall apart because a spouse was unfaithful and the other person is crushed. This is how God feels! We are adulterous when we don’t have a proper relationship with Him. If we love Him, we will keep His commandments (John 14:15). But the fact that we love Him keeps those commandments from being burdensome (1 John 5:3).

We must learn to “lay down our life” for the Father. That means we remember that this life is not our own to live, but we live it to glorify the Father. In “laying down my life” I am willing to put aside my own expectations or worldly expectations and strive to please the One who laid down His actual life for me. Is it always easy?  Nope. Look at Peter. He walked with Jesus and had enough faith to walk on the water but when it came down to laying down his life… well, sometimes we make bad choices (John 13:36-38).  But don’t quit striving! And don’t use God’s grace as an “out” for blatant sin or choices that don’t glorify the Father.

I challenge you for the new year to get to know the Father. Read the gospels over and over and get to know Jesus. Let the Father talk to you each day. Let Him fill you up! If you’re not sure where to begin, study 1 John. Then you can “know” how to abide. Talk with Him each day, pouring out your heart to Him. Have a true relationship with God! If I can be of any help just send me a note and I will share my knowledge and experiences “From the Heart of an Older Woman.”

By Tami Roberts
Tami and her husband, Wayne, serve with the Parker church of Christ* in Parker, CO. Wayne serves as the minister and evangelist. Tami and Wayne are both instructors for the Bear Valley Bible Institute of Denver. They have been married for almost 30 years, have five children and three grandchildren. More than anything, they enjoy spending time with God’s people.

* Editor’s note: There are some excellent podcasts available on the Parker church of Christ site. Be sure to download a few and listen (click here).

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Where's Waldo?

FROM THE HEART OF AN OLDER WOMAN

A couple of weeks ago we had Waldo come home from college for the holidays. It was Sunday morning and Waldo never showed up for Bible class or worship service. His parents were asking, “Where’s Waldo?” They got home to find Waldo visiting with old high school friends. After the friends left, Waldo’s mother asked him if he attended services while at college and he responded with, “When I can”. 

Last week I gave some practical pointers on how to make sure you are never wondering, “Where’s Waldo?” I thought this week we would continue along those same lines with more practical advice taken from the example of Waldo and his parents.

I have never asked/told my children to go to services while they were living in my house.
We raised our children going to all services of the church so it was never questioned. I had a mother tell me once that she really had a hard time getting her 11-year-old boy to get up for services because he didn’t want to go. She asked me what to do because I had an 11-year-old boy at that time. I was baffled! We had never had that problem; our children were excited to go to services. I covered this pretty well last week, but I wanted to put out there the importance of showing them faithful attendance starting when they are little. 

Be in charge of whom your children are spending time with.
“Do not be deceived, bad company corrupts good morals” (1 Corinthians 15:33). You are raising soldiers for the cross so you want to train them to be around worldly people, but be in charge of those situations. Ours was the yard that the neighborhood kids gathered in. I never cared how many kids were playing there as long as they played nicely and they all knew the rules. I wanted to be in charge of what was going on with my children. Make sure you are nurturing the relationships that your children have with other children in the church. These can be lifetime friendships. But beware if as your child hits middle school and high school age and most of their friends are not from Christian homes. They WILL be influenced! Again, encourage friendships within the church. This is VERY important!!

Don’t allow your children to miss services or church activities!
Just don’t ever start it.  But…I covered this last week.  This will help keep you from ever asking, “Where’s Waldo?”

Ask yourself, “Am I raising soldiers for the cross? Am I equipping my children to be in the world but not of the world?”
Waldo went out into the world and it sounds like he forgot to put his armor on.  We know that as Christians we are to put on the armor of God (Ephesians 6:10-17). Now put that armor on your children and show them how to win souls. We do not win souls by isolating our children from the world. We MUST prepare them to go out into the world! Was there anything wrong with Waldo talking to old high school friends? Not at all. But who had the stronger influence? Was Waldo using those relationships to bring his friends to Christ? It doesn’t seem so because he was allowing them to influence him in a way that didn’t bring glory to God. You are raising your children to go out into the world—don’t forget that—but raise them to know “why” they are going: to win souls and bring glory to God.

Waldo was a soldier that got entangled in the affairs of every day life (2 Timothy 2:4).
You must teach your children how to be soldiers that remember to please the one that enlisted them. Waldo probably learned that form of “soldier life” from his parents. Again, I covered “putting God first” last week, but it must be repeated. BE A SPIRITUAL THINKER! This life is but a vapor. It doesn’t matter if your child is the fastest or the smartest or the most coordinated. Does your child, in the life that they live, bring glory to God in all that they do? Do you?

If you start now, no matter the age of your children, putting God first, you will be blessed. Your children will watch and you can show them that you are a soldier for the cross and Jesus is the one that enlisted you. Teach them by your life so that one day you don’t turn and ask, “Where’s Waldo?”

By Tami Roberts
Tami and her husband, Wayne, serve with the Parker church of Christ* in Parker, CO. Wayne serves as the minister and evangelist. Tami and Wayne are both instructors for the Bear Valley Bible Institute of Denver. They have been married for almost 30 years, have five children and three grandchildren. More than anything, they enjoy spending time with God’s people.

* Editor’s note: There are some excellent podcasts available on the Parker church of Christ site. Be sure to download a few and listen (click here).

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Show Them How!

FROM THE HEART OF AN OLDER WOMAN 

As Christian mothers we all want to raise faithful children.  I want to give you some practical tips to help you do that.  These I have learned by what has worked, not only with my children, but what I have seen in others.

Have your children in Bible class.
You should be there anyway. Yes, you should be teaching them at home but even children learn from assembling together.  I had a mother tell me one time that her child felt left out and didn’t feel included when he was at services.  I told her that there is no excuse for bad behavior on the part of the other children, but… she didn’t have him in Bible class so the other kids didn’t really know him.  That was her fault and not the fault of anyone else.

Have your children at the gathering of the saints.
PERIOD!!  We know we are to come together on the first day of the week to partake of the Lord’s supper (Acts 20:7). Hebrews 10:25 warns us to not make it a habit of forsaking the assembly. Is it your “habit” to stay home when you are tired? Is it your “habit” to miss for work? Is it your “habit” to miss for sports? 
You will set the pattern for your family. You are the parent! Your children will not make “priority” decisions for their activities until they are much older. You, as one of the parents, will make the decision for your family to put God first. Stop putting school activities before the gathering of the saints! Stop putting sports before the gathering of the saints! Stop putting an occupation before the gathering of the saints! STOP PUTTING WORLDLY THINGS BEFORE GOD!

Don’t just be “Sunday morning Christians”!
Be there when the saints assemble. If your congregation meets on Sunday night, be there! If your congregation has a midweek service, be there! If there is a gospel meeting or seminar, be there! Teach them—by showing them—the importance of coming together with God’s people. If you need a reminder on how the New Testament church behaved, read Acts 2:42-47 and Acts 4:32-37.

Make your church family, family.
They may be the family that you never had. Treat them that way. Love them! Have them in your home! Do things with them! Show your children the importance of putting God’s kingdom before worldly people. By the way, this is also one way to win souls. When the world looks at the “family” relationship that you have within the church they will have a longing to be a part of that family. But you must have that relationship first.

Don’t let the world influence your thinking!
Is a 4 year old in ballet a sinful situation? No, it isn’t. But… what pattern are you setting?  Look at the clothing they wear. Is it modest, Christ-like apparel? It’s cute when she is 4, but how about when she is 14? THINK LIKE A SPIRITUAL PERSON! How does it affect the “big picture”? The “big picture” is having faithful children in the end. Sports are not a sin within themselves but our society has convinced even those within the church that it’s okay to put sporting practices and events before the gathering of the saints. Is that how you want your child to think in the “big picture”? Surely not. You can have your children learn all of the “positive aspects” of playing sports without them missing any services/ activities of the church.  THINK LIKE A SPIRITUAL PERSON IF YOU WANT YOUR CHILD TO GROW UP AND THINK LIKE ONE!

I want your children to be faithful! I want your family to be together in heaven! This small list of practical advice is just the beginning, but these SIMPLE steps will make such a HUGE difference in the lives of the people in your family! If you want to raise faithful children, you must show them how to be faithful by living it yourself!

By Tami Roberts
Tami and her husband, Wayne, serve with the Parker church of Christ* in Parker, CO. Wayne serves as the minister and evangelist. Tami and Wayne are both instructors for the Bear Valley Bible Institute of Denver. They have been married for almost 30 years, have five children and two grandchildren with another due in August. More than anything, they enjoy spending time with God’s people.

* Editor’s note: There are some excellent podcasts available on the Parker church of Christ site. Be sure to download a few and listen (click here).

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I Raised You to be Faithful… Or Did I?

FROM THE HEART OF AN OLDER WOMAN

Waldo is 19.  He’s gone off to college and has come home for the holidays.  It’s Sunday morning and his Mom comes in to wake him for Bible class.  He rolls over and says, “I’ll be there for worship.”  Mom wrings her hands and asks again but to no avail.  The family saves Waldo a place for worship and Mom and Dad keep watching for him, but he is a no-show.  They get home to find him talking with old high school friends.  When they finally leave, Mom tells him she is very disappointed that he wasn’t at services.  Waldo replies with, “Oh sorry, but my friends called and this morning was the only time they could get together.”  Mom pauses and asks, “Are you going to church at school?  Are you involved in the congregation there?” and Waldo answers, “When I can.”  Mom is heartbroken and says, “But we raised you better than that; I raised you to be faithful”.  Or did she?

We are going to spend the next couple of weeks on what I believe to be one of the most important aspects of loving our children: showing them how to be faithful. Teaching them by showing them how to put God first in their lives.

We know from Proverbs 22:6 that if we train up a child in the way he should go, when he’s old he won’t depart from it.  I LOVE this scripture! It gives me a peace and hope as I raise my children.  But you must ask yourself, “Am I training my children in the way they should go… according to God’s Word?  Or am I training them to go in a worldly manner?” Have we let the world convince us of what our children “need” to be a part of or experience in their lives? I believe SO many parents in the church have fallen into that trap and don’t even realize it. Oh, I guess some do. Those are the parents that feel guilty and are defensive about the choices that they are making.

Jesus gives us the way to faithful children in Matthew 6:33.  “But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added to you.” We must put God, His kingdom and His righteousness first in our lives. The reason that we put God first is because we love Him; we have a relationship with Him. Our children will see that relationship in our actions and in the priorities we set for ourselves and our family. They see that love in the way that we strive to be obedient. John 14:15 tells us, “If you love Me, you will keep My commandments.” They will see a servant for the Lord’s kingdom, the church. They will see someone who is an active part of the congregation, not because they have to be, but because they love God’s people.

We don’t want to be like Waldo’s Mom and have our children gone from home before we realize the mistakes we have made. Young mothers with little children, decide right now to SHOW your children how to be faithful, how to put God first. Young women, decide before you even have children that God will be first in ALL things in your home.

Next time we will look at some practical ways from God’s Word to teach this to your children so that one day you aren’t looking at your grown child and saying, “I raised you to be faithful…..or did I?”

By Tami Roberts
Tami and her husband, Wayne, serve with the Parker church of Christ* in Parker, CO. Wayne serves as the minister and evangelist. Tami and Wayne are both instructors for the Bear Valley Bible Institute of Denver. They have been married for almost 30 years, have five children and two grandchildren with another due in August. More than anything, they enjoy spending time with God’s people.

* Editor’s note: There are some excellent podcasts available on the Parker church of Christ site. Be sure to download a few and listen (click here).

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Don't Be A Quitter!

FROM THE HEART OF AN OLDER WOMAN

Our question this week is basically how do we keep older women from “retiring” as Bible class teachers?  Is that okay?

I believe this is a frustration in so many congregations. I know I experienced it as a young woman.  When I stepped up to teach I actually had an older woman tell me that now that the younger women were stepping up the older women could stop teaching. I was FLABBERGASTED (thought I’d throw in an old lady word)! What about Titus 2:3-5? I learned two things from this experience: 1) There is no retirement program in Christianity. 2) As an older woman I would be different.

1) There is no retirement program in Christianity.

The first scripture that jumps to mind is James 1:22-25.  How can I be an effectual doer if I CHOOSE to quit doing? Ephesians 4:16 tells us that the proper working of each individual part, causes the growth of the body. If my body part CHOOSES to quit working, am I still causing the growth?  How about all of those “do not grow weary of doing good” scriptures?

I realize that as we get older our “work” in the congregation may change, but ladies let’s be careful of just QUITTING! Watch the attitude. Are you having an attitude problem?  “I’ve been teaching for 30 years… It’s someone else’s turn.”  Have you helped train that someone else?  Are you encouraging others by your example or are you a quitter?  I’m just sayin’.  Look at that face in the mirror and ask yourself honestly, “What is the attitude behind my thinking?” Is it the attitude of Christ?

2) I will be different as an older woman.

Younger women, decide now to change the precedent of “quitting” when someone else steps up. Decide now to be the older woman that you desire to have in your life. You are already older than someone. What are younger women seeing in you? Remember that it is a reflection of your heart. Do you truly desire to be a servant? Don’t make Christianity about you! It’s not supposed to be about “What do I want?” or “I’ve been teaching for so long!” Be a servant!

Now here is some practical advice:

  • Take it to the elders. Maybe some teaching is necessary on this topic.
  • Have the young women who haven’t taught before—including your teenagers—sit in the Bible classes as an assistant. Sometimes this removes their fear of teaching. They realize that they can be a teacher too.
  • Start a rotation of teachers. Sometimes women are hesitant to volunteer because they are afraid they will never get to be in an adult Bible class again. We find they will commit to a quarter. We started out with the teacher teaching Sunday morning and Wednesday night, using Wednesday night as a review. We would rotate teachers each quarter, so each one is on a quarter, off a quarter.  We almost have enough teachers now that each teacher still teaches every other quarter but just Sunday morning or Wednesday night during that quarter.
  • Pull the men into teaching the older elementary classes. Our men have jumped in and are helping teach the 3rd graders– 6th graders.
  • Be patient! People do not change easily and you cannot change them yourself. God is in charge and they must be willing to change.
  • Be prayerful! Again, take it to the elders or the men of your congregation. Have it prayed about from the pulpit. They should be prayers along the lines of “we need people with willing hearts to teach our children,” “soften the hearts of those who should be teaching.”
  • Last, watch your attitude! Don’t be a quitter!

Editor’s Note: Younger women! Send in your questions to be answered “From the Heart of an Older Woman” Titus 2:3-5 goes two ways. What questions do you have that you’d like to have the voice of experience and wisdom to help out with?

By Tami Roberts
Tami and her husband, Wayne, serve with the Parker church of Christ* in Parker, CO. Wayne serves as the minister and evangelist. Tami and Wayne are both instructors for the Bear Valley Bible Institute of Denver. They have been married for almost 30 years, have five children and two grandchildren with another due in August. More than anything, they enjoy spending time with God’s people.

* Editor’s note: There are some excellent podcasts available on the Parker church of Christ site. Be sure to download a few and listen (click here).

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Avoiding "Hey, Who Are You?"

FROM THE HEART OF AN OLDER WOMAN

In Titus 2:4 the older women are first instructed to teach the younger women to love their husbands. Husbands are listed before their children.  I am watching so many couples my age fall apart as their children go off to college or get married and the couple finds themselves alone together. They have spent their married life living 2 separate lives and now their relationship is wobbly and they aren’t sure how to handle it. Now that the children aren’t taking all of her time, she’s not sure how to focus on her husband. So here are a couple of pointers to help the younger women try to avoid that “insecure” stage of marriage.

Don’t live separate lives.

Does this mean you have to do everything together? Of course not.  But do you know his schedule? Does he know yours? Do you plan your calendars together? Or just fill them up individually and then wonder why you don’t have time for each other? I feel SO sorry for couples that don’t communicate. Talk to each other.

Make sure you are scheduling time to be together, especially if you have children. Work to make sure that you are getting a date night at least once a month. Time together, alone, as a couple is SO important! Don’t make the mistake of thinking you will have plenty of time for that later. If God grants you both a long life will you know each other?

I know this won’t work for everyone, but Wayne and I go to bed together every night. There have been a few exceptions with him working on a project or one of us being sick. It may be my favorite time of the day. We visit about our day and what tomorrow holds. 

It is SO important that you stay connected! You must work at that “being one” aspect of marriage.

God, Daddy, THEN the children.

I realize how much time your children take. You can’t just ignore an infant when they are crying to be fed. But your husband MUST know that he comes before those children in your heart. I have watched moms give all of their heart to their children, leaving their husband out in the cold.  Then she wonders why he isn’t interested in her any more.  Don’t neglect your relationship with your husband as you focus on your children.

  • Make sure you make parenting decisions together. That way he is allowed to lead and is a part of the family and not just “the Dad.”
  • ALWAYS back up his parenting decisions in front of the children. He must know that you respect him. The children must know that you respect him.
  • Be careful not to let your children always take your attention away from your husband. They can wait a minute if your husband is talking.
  • Have a bedtime for your children. They need the sleep anyway.  We always put ours to bed by 8 and then Wayne and I had the rest of the evening for each other.
  • Don’t forget to show him that you love him! Have his favorite meal. Put a “love note” in his wallet or lunch. Text him an “I love you.”  (Those of you focused on yourself are thinking, “He never does that for me.”  Maybe there is a reason.)

My nest is basically empty, Leslie just comes home for summers and holidays. So most of the time it’s just me and Wayne…and we LOVE it! We work together and play together. We made it this far with the Lord’s help and you can too. Don’t let go of God’s hand and try these pointers so that one day you don’t turn and look and ask, “Hey, who are you?”

By Tami Roberts
Tami and her husband, Wayne, serve with the Parker church of Christ* in Parker, CO. Wayne serves as the minister and evangelist. Tami and Wayne are both instructors for the Bear Valley Bible Institute of Denver. They have been married for almost 30 years, have five children and two grandchildren with another due in August. More than anything, they enjoy spending time with God’s people.

* Editor’s note: There are some excellent podcasts available on the Parker church of Christ site. Be sure to download a few and listen (click here).

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