To Kneel or to Break

Grand Canyon GTD Sept. 2012 903

On Christmas Eve, I bent over to pick up Joshua and the spasm of pain in my already troubled lower back quickly communicated a costly mistake…I had bent when I should have kneeled.

Health professionals, or anyone with back pain, confess that kneeling protects the back by transferring the stress of weight to the legs. However, most people bend at the hips the moment they drop something. Bending is the easier action. Easier isn’t always better…bending causes more strain to the spine and may result in injury. Because kneeling is not our first reaction, more discipline and resolve are needed to use this better practice.

If we do not kneel we risk brokenness of body. Similarly, if we face the mishaps, temptations, and opportunities of today with a bent on our own merit and strength mentality, we succumb to brokenness of spirit.

Why should our backs endure that which was intended for the knees to sustain?

Therefore lift your drooping hands and strengthen your weak knees, and make straight paths for your feet, so that what is lame may not be put out of joint but rather healed. ~Hebrews 12:12-13

When the mess is made, the expectation unmet, the diagnosis rendered, relationships severed, or the moment of opportunity knocks, will we bend with all our might or bow our knees in humble prayer?

For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named, that according to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit  in your inner being, so that…you may be filled with all the fullness of God. ~Ephesians 3:14-16, 19 (emphasis mine)

Kneel and be filled… bend and break. The choice is ours.

Today and everyday this week, why not kneel to retrieve and then kneel your heart in prayer? Obedience begets obedience and discipline begets discipline. May 2013 be marked by the discipline of prayer over self-powered attempts, and kneeling rather than back-breaking grasps.

For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost. ~Luke 19:10

And rising very early in the morning, while it was still dark, he (Jesus) departed and went out to a desolate place, and there he prayed. ~Mark 1:35

And going a little further, he fell on the ground and prayed…~ Mark 14:35 (emphasis mine)


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Harvesting Hearts with Principle

Every mom and dad likely agree that parenting is one of the hardest tasks of a lifetime. Tending the soil of little hearts, growing them into Christ-followers with convictions, character, and principles that will weather all seasons of life, takes perseverance and commitment. Even then, it is Christ and the choices of our children that will give the increase.

To do my part, I desire to memorize and convey to my children Biblical truths which teach the principles behind the discipline in our home.

Hebrews 12 teaches that just as an earthly father disciplines his son so too the Heavenly Father disciplines us for our good, “that we may share in His holiness (vs. 10)” Even when our little pumpkins have left the patch, they will not leave the strong, tender hands of their Father.


In the book, Help for the Harried Homeschooler, Christine M. Field writes a wonderful chapter on discipline and encourages parents to focus on “principles and relationships, not rules (p. 57).”

 A rule says, “Don’t kill.” The principle is “Love your neighbor.” A rule says, “Don’t be disrespectful.” The principle is, “Honor your father and mother.” ~Help for the Harried Homeschooler, p. 57


Here are 10 verses to harvest hearts with principle. Perhaps this will encourage you to write your own list that addresses issues specific to your children. Our children are still preschool age. With that in mind, parents of teenagers might add more verses about honoring God with their bodies and respecting their bodies as temples of the Holy Spirit.

1. “Honor your father and your mother” (this is the first commandment with a promise) “That it may go well with you and that you may live long in the land.” ~Ephesians 6:2-3

2. “Do all things without grumbling or questioning, that you may be blameless and innocent, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and twisted generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world, holding fast to the word of life, so that in the day of Christ I may be proud that I did not run in vain or labor in vain.” ~Philippinas 2:14-16

3. “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And the second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” ~Matthew 22:37-39

4. The Golden Rule: “So whatever you wish that others would do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets.” ~Matthew 7:12

5. “give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”~1 Thessalonians 5:18

6. Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness.” James 1:2-3

7. “Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.” Philippians 2:4

8. “Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men,” ~Colossians 3:23

9. Persevere “And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.”~Galations 6:9

10. Pray “I lift my eyes unto the hills. From where does my help come? My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth.” ~Psalm 121:1-2

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