Savor the Season- Part 2

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In the last post, we were talking about the ups and downs of parenthood- the good and the bad times, and I mentioned that one of my favorite passages of Scripture is Ecclesiastes 3:1-8. It’s a good reminder that good times and bad times come and go and that we need to be prepared to experience some of each.

In honor of those in the trenches of parenthood and especially those younger than my wife and myself, I’d like to offer some thoughts on this passage as it might apply to parents……

Ecclesiastes 3, verse 1: To every thing there is a season, and time to every purpose under the heaven.” God connects times with purposes. He doesn’t promise to tell us what the purpose is while we’re in the time, and He may not tell us before we enter Heaven. But remember in the tough seasons, and the peaceful times as well, that God has His purposes. Especially in the season of pressure, use minimal energy trying to discern God’s reasons. (He may not want you to know them yet.) Learn to rest in the fact that your Father never wastes suffering.

Verse 2a: “A time to be born, and a time to die”. You were a newborn yourself and it wasn’t so long ago. The time will come when you will be called away from this planet. Between those two times, there are many seasons. The one you’re in will end and another will begin. Remember that life has a beginning and an end, and let that humble and motivate you. Your children are your bequest to a needy world you’ll be leaving.
Verse 2b: “A time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted.” There are times to sow good seed in the hearts of your children. The time you spend reading his or her favorite Bible story for the umpteenth time isn’t wasted. There is also a time for pulling weeds. Be alert to pluck up unworthy attitudes or false philosophies the enemy tries to sow in your wheat.

Continue reading Savor the Season- Part 2

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12 Ways to Communicate Love to Your Kids

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How can we show love to our children?

First, let’s look at what God says love will look like:

Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant, does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provokeddoes not take into account a wrong suffereddoes not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truthbears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails;

What might that look like on a daily basis?

Here are 12 practical ways we can communicate love to our children- whether they be toddlers or teens:

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More Ideas for Easy Family Devotions

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Family devotion time doesn’t need to be complicated. I remember little Matt when he was about 3 or 4; he would get his pillow and stretch out on his back underneath the coffee table every night with his feet up in the air touching the bottom of the table top. We never let our kids disrupt family time by running around being loud, but expected them to listen quietly. Matt, listening quietly, would fall asleep every time! Sweet memories. It’s okay. They’ll pick up a whole lot more than you think even if it appears that they aren’t being real attentive.

So, continuing with suggestions for easy Family Bible Times, let me share with you several more ways we spent time together as a family learning about God. (Miss Part 1? Read it here)

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Ideas for Easy Family Devotions

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In raising our 14 kids I can’t say we’ve always been consistent in family devotion times. It actually got much harder as the kids got older and had so many out of the home commitments. But before we got to that stage, we had fairly consistent family Bible times.

In the next couple of posts I plan to share some of the things we did that proved successful but not overwhelming to accomplish, as well as some of the resources we developed that can be picked up and used without prep time on Dad or Mom’s part. Rick was a dad who had a physically intensive job so he would come home very tired and not at his creative best, so something that did not require a lot of preparation was important for that reason. Perhaps you find yourself in a similar situation.

Family Devotions don’t have to be in-depth, or extremely time-consuming. They don’t have to follow a particular formula, and you don’t have to have visuals and activities planned out to accompany your time together in order to “make it work”.  What is important, really, is that you try to set aside some time to simply lead your family in listening to God’s word and discussing it together. If you want to do more, great! But, if you cannot- don’t lose heart! Do what you can. Little is MUCH when God is in it!

Here are Easy Ideas and Resources for Family Devotions:

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Things I’m Glad I Did While Raising My Kids- Part 3

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I grew up without being exposed to Scripture, so as a young mom (age 20) it was all still very new to me. I was under great teaching that helped me to realize that all the answers for life are contained in God’s Word, so as I began searching and learning it myself, I sought to find ways to teach it to my little son.

We began by hanging verses around the house and Rick and I started memorizing portions of Scripture together. By the time we had 3 little boys (all 18 months apart), Rick began recording Scripture for the boys to listen to when he was at work. It seemed he was gone for most of their waking hours, so it was his idea to record and explain Proverbs for them to listen to at nap time and bed time.

He gave example stories to explain the what it was talking about so the kids could understand. The results were far-reaching and amazing!! He recorded other portions of Scripture as time went on, and as the boys and then girls grew up, they spent MANY hours listening to Dad read and explain the Scriptures to them.

We often read the Proverb of the day- there are 31 days to the month and 31 Proverbs. Rick always told the kids to raise their hands if they had any questions when he read.  One day he began reading the Proverb of the day and the kids finished the verse before he had a chance to. It happened again and again. When Dad asked them how they knew so many verses, they said, “Well, you have us listen to Bible tapes every night and we just know them.” It was true!! It was incredible!!

Not only did they memorize it, it began to affect the way they thought. God’s Word does that! When they were faced with temptations, verses they didn’t consciously realize they even knew, would pop into their heads giving guidance in everyday decisions. Isaiah 55:11 says, “So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.” It is so true.

Continue reading Things I’m Glad I Did While Raising My Kids- Part 3

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Teach Your Children God’s Word

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Psalm 119:97 says, “ O how love I thy law! It is my meditation all the day”.

Kids need to be involved with God’s Word during the day.

Memorizing is the first step in meditating. Meditating has been compared to a cow chewing her cud. First she swallows it, then brings it back up, and chews it all over again.

In order to meditate you have to first commit the Scripture to memory by getting it into your mind and then contemplate it, think about it, and finally decide how to apply it to your life. That’s when it makes it’s way from your head into your heart and works out in your life.

Our kids need us to help them with this.

Do you want your kids to be wiser than their enemies? Then teach them God’s Word.

Psalm 119: 98 “Thou through thy commandments hast made me wiser than mine enemies, for they are ever with me.”

Do you want your kids to accomplish greater things than you do? Then teach them God’s Word.

Psalm 119: 99 “I have more understanding than all my teachers, for thy testimonies are my meditation.”

Continue reading Teach Your Children God’s Word

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