monkey see, monkey do

27 Jul

There is a phrase that says… monkey see, monkey do… and it is so true in the parent/child relationship.

As parents, we need to recognize and ask ourselves, “What lifestyle are we modeling for our children?” Without even knowing it, our kids will default to living in the same patterns that we model for them.

The Apostle Paul talks about how our lives are living epistles read by all men (2 Corinthians 3:2). That basically means that our lives are an open book that all men (including our children) watch to see how to live for God. We are the most influential people in our children’s lives. What lifestyles, behaviors, and attitudes are we modeling for them?

Are we creating Godly and life-bringing habits and patterns within our household?

Is God at the center of everything that we do…. from our morning routine, to how to treat each other, to the things we spend our time and money on…

How would the atmosphere of our home be described? tense or peaceful? faith-filled or full of worry? worshipful or self-focused? loving or conflict-filled? joyful or depressing?

Today, let’s not take the responsibility of parenting lightly and do a little self-evaluation on what we are modeling to our children.

Lord, help me to be the best possible example to my children as possible. I want to help my children form Godly and life-giving habits and patterns in their life, because of what they see in my life. I need your strength to do it! I receive your wisdom and strength now. I love you Lord, Amen.

5 things last spoken?

24 Jul

 

5 Last Things Spoken

What are the last 5 things that you have said out loud to your child or about your child?

Sometimes when emotions are high and patience is thin, we can say things about our children that we don’t mean to say….

“Oh, you little rascal!”

“You bad girl”

“You are so naughty!”

“Oh, my little runny nosed boy”

“You little devil”

“He just never listens to me”

“Oh, she’s just a flirt”

“He’s a cranky boy”

“She is shy”

“Seems like he is always sick”….

Our words as parents have more power than we think. Our kids hear the words that we say about them and  they begin to form their identity based on our words. Our words help shape our children and their future.

Good rule of thumb:Never say anything about your children that you would not want to come to pass. Our words can become self-fulfilling prophecies if we are not careful.

Proverbs 18:21 says it best:

“Words kill, words give life; they’re either poison or fruit – you choose.”

As parents we have the choice everyday to surround our children with words of life or words of death. Words that build-up or words that tear-down.

Our words are more powerful than we recognize.

If you do not know where to start start, here are some good phrases to have in your back pocket…

“You are so smart”

“You are such a good boy”

“Wow, you are a great helper”

“You are funny, you make mommy laugh”

“You are beautiful… you are handsome…”

and for when they misbehave…. “That is not the (child’s name), I know…”

As parents, we need to be reminded: “if we don’t have anything nice to say…. Don’t say anything at all”

Lord, help me speak only words of life about my children. Lord I believe my children are favored, blessed, healthy, strong, spiritually keen, etc. Help me to speak, the same things that you speak about my children.

Candy-spoken

15 Jul

 

Words …. simple words.

sweet as honey.

or

harsh like daggers.

I want to be a sweet-worded person. Especially with those closest to me… my husband. my kids. my family. my friends. Candy-spoken and refreshing to the soul. The Bible says that sweet words can bring healing to the bones and encouragement to our souls.

There is nothing like receiving a genuine, heart-felt compliment from a loved one…. you feel all cuddly and warm on the inside… and as the Bible says … sweet words actually carry healing power for those spoken to.

Proverbs 16:24

Pleasant words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones. 


Lord, help me be a person that leaves people feeling better about themselves, with warmth in their heart and strength in their bones… especially my spouse and kids. May my words be a foundation of life for them.


Do what God tells you to do…

11 Jul

Do what God tells you to do…

How do we raise our kids? How do we spend our money? Full-time, part-time, stay-at-home? What battles do we pick? What do we invest our time into? Public, Private, Home-School? What is the timing of things? And the list goes on..

We ask questions like…. Am I doing this right? Am I a good mom? A good dad? Am I missing it? Will I regret anything?

We can make our head spin with all the questions, choices, and decisions that come along with parenting.

But the answer to all these questions can boil down real simply to this:

Do what God tells you to do

Endeavor to have yourself sensitive to the voice of God as you go throughout your day. As you make large and small decisions, check your heart to see if you have peace about it.

Have your #1 goal to be smack dab in the middle of God’s will with every decision that you make. You might not do things that same way as those around you, but if you do things the way God told you to do them …. then you can confidently know that you are doing the right thing.

He gently leads those that are with young… Isaiah 40:11

Pray it: God today I choose to do what you tell me to do. I trust you and am confident that your ways are best. I will not worry, stress, or be concerned about how things will work out, because if I am in Your will… You work it all out for the good. I love you, Lord. 

one thing I do know

27 Jun

For the Lord is good; His mercy and loving-kindness are everlasting. Psalm 100:5 AMP

Sometimes we come to God with many questions about life, our future, situations, His character, the who, what, where, and why’s of everyday life…

Sometimes His answers to these questions are very clear and concise. Other times it seems like our ears need tuning…

And then, many times, especially in my own life, God seems to respond by saying, “Trust me. Remember the one thing you do know – that I am good”. And then you chuckle to yourself, smile, say “oh, yeah, thanks for reminding me”, and go on your way at peace.

So today, even though you and I might not have all the answers to all the questions in our little hearts. One thing that we do know is God is good – and He is good all the time. His plans for us are good, and only good. His thoughts towards us are good and only good. His will for our life, our children’s lives, spouse’s, and family’s life is good – all the time.

Although we see through the glass dimly today, one day we will see Him face to face. Let’s be reminded on the foggy glass days, that even though we can’t see it all – He is good – totally, entirely, and perfectly good.

Pray it: Lord, thank-you for being good. Totally, entirely, and perfectly good. I rest and put my trust in You, today. I love you lots. Amen.

why faith confessions?

25 Jun

The tongue can bring death or life; those who love to talk will reap the consequences.

Proverbs 18:21 NLT

Some might ask, “What is the big deal about faith confessions? Why be so overly concerned about the words that are coming out of our mouth?” Others might think it is a bunch of positive think/positive say humbo-jumbo.

Here is some food for thought: Optimism is great – but it is not faith. Positive thinking and speaking is great – but it is not faith. Saying and doing the right things is great – but it is not faith….. Faith is trusting solely and entirely in God and God alone. Faith is believing that God is who He said He is, that He did what He said He did, and that He still does what He promises to do.

Faith Confessions are NOT conjuring up enough positive self-talk to somehow in your own strength make something happen. Faith confessions ARE simply believing with all your heart that God’s Word is true and then speaking that truth over your life.

The Bible has a lot to say about believing and speaking. Is seems like things are established when we both believe and speak (or verbally confess) God’s Word.

Check our Romans 10:9 …

If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord AND believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. NLT

We see from Romans 10:9 to be saved we must not only believe, but also confess. There seems to be some kind of establishing power in us confessing verbally with our mouth what we believe.

Then, check out Proverbs 18:21 …

Death and life are in the power of the tongue, And those who love it will eat its fruit. NKJV

It is clear to see in Proverbs 18:21 that our words create either death or life in our life (and in the life of our children). The second half of the scripture talks about how our words create “fruit” – both positive and negative – and we eat the “fruit” that our words produce.

And again, check out Hebrews 11:1,3 …

Faith is the confidence that what we hope for will actually happen; it gives us assurance about things we cannot see… By faith we understand that the entire universe was formed at God’s command, that what we now see did not come from anything that can be seen. NLT

We learn in Hebrews 11 that faith is not based on what we see (we do not make faith confessions based on what we see). We also learn in Hebrews 11 that the world was created by God’s Word… His command … His confession.

Lastly, everything comes together in Mark 11:23, where we see Jesus teaching the disciples on their authority and how when they have faith in Him, their words can carry the same power that His do.

So Jesus answered and said to them, “Have faith in God. For assuredly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be removed and be cast into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that those things he says will be done, he will have whatever he says. NKJV

Right before Jesus said these words He cursed a fig tree and it withered up and died. The disciples were surprised that by His words the tree died. Therefore, Jesus takes some time to explain to the disciples the power of their words. He is showing them that when they have faith in God, their words have the same commanding power to create.

WOW! The Bible is clear that faith and words have power. The universe was created at God’s command and God says that our personal universe is created largely by our words… or confessions.

Mark 11:23 – you will have whatsoever you say

If you say that your kid is a “Snotty-nosed, stubborn, terrible-two-year old stinker” … well, the Bible says you will have whatever you say! But if we line our words up with what God says about our kids…. they are a “blessed, healthy, obedient, joyful, gift from God!”

SPEAK IT!: Lord, forgive me for where I have not spoken the best things over my life or my children’s lives. Today, I agree with you verbally that they are blessed, healthy, obedient, and joyful. Their spirit is keen to Your voice, their soul is at rest, and they are a gift. Their futures are bright and they will fulfill everything that you created them to do!

Mama Looking Good….

21 Jun

A capable, intelligent, virtuous woman… she is far more precious than jewels and her value is far above rubies or pearls. Proverbs 31: 10 AMP

Proverbs 31 gives us this breath-taking view of a woman/wife/mom who’s got it going on. It is interesting to do a study of this scripture by taking a look at the way this Mama is described and the things this Mama does… check it out!

Mama Looking Goodher description

  • capable, intelligent, and virtuous (vs. 10)
  • more precious than jewels, greater value than rubies or pearls (vs. 10)
  • trusted in, relied on, and believed in securely by husband (vs. 10)
  • energetic, strong, hard-worker (vs. 17)
  • husband well known and hangs with leaders (vs. 23)
  • strong, dignified, secure, rejoices at future (vs. 25)
  • children call her blessed and husband praises her (vs. 28)

Mama Acting Good her actions

  • comforts, encourages, does good to husband (vs. 12)
  • finds good things for household/family (vs. 13)
  • gets up early and plans day (vs. 15)
  • inspects, buys, and plants (vs. 16)
  • makes a profit and works into night (vs. 18)
  • works with her hands (vs. 19)
  • helps those less fortunate (vs. 20)
  • is not afraid of future (vs. 21)
  • she makes things and dresses nicely (vs. 22)
  • speaks wise words and gives instruction with kindness (vs 26)
  • carefully watches her household/family (vs. 26)
  • Is not lazy and does not gossip (vs. 26)
  • excels at what she does (vs. 29)
  • reverently and worshipfully fears the Lord (vs. 30)

Proverbs 31 is a challenging scripture for every woman, and it is a great standard for us all to strive for. As I look at these scriptures, it seems like there is a strong correlation between what the Proverbs 31 woman does and how in turn she is described. What woman doesn’t want to be called: strong, capable, precious, blessed, secure, virtuous, and intelligent! The Proverbs 31 lady did not get called all those wonderful things for doing nothing! Check out some of the things she excelled at: working hard, speaking wisely and kindly, helping others, fearing God, supporting her husband, helping provide for family…

Let’s trust God today to give us the strength and ability to “look good” like this Proverbs 31 Mama!

Pray it!: Lord help me today to be like this Proverbs 31 Mama. I want to bring glory to you in all I do, and want to be a blessing to those around me. I want to be called strong, capable, precious, blessed, secure, virtuous, and intelligent! Help me to be intentional about following the lifestyle dipicted in the Proverbs 31 woman.

New FREE Video Book!

18 Jun

“God Speaks About You!” is now in a free video book format!

Now your children can enjoy “God Speaks About You!” anytime they want! Your family can access this new video format now on YouTube. Spread the word, and let people know about this new great format! Children love video books (or ebook/ibooks) on your phone, tablet, or computer… just another great way to get the word out.

wisdom + family

11 Jun

“Through skillful and Godly Wisdom is a house (a life, a home, a family) built, and by understanding it is established [on a sound and good foundation],” Proverbs 24:3 AMP

As parents we are builders. We build our life, home, and family. The atmosphere of our home, our family’s lifestyle and beliefs, and our life in general – these are all things we have the opportunity to build!

Homes are built on a foundation, and the strength of the home is dependent on the quality of the foundation. The home’s foundation can be made of many different things (both good and bad)… love, support, material possessions, status, distrust, etc… What is the foundation of your home?

In the scripture above (Proverbs 24:3), we see that God instructs us to build our home and family on Godly wisdom. You might ask yourself what is Godly wisdom?

Proverbs 9:10 AMP gives us a good definition of what wisdom is:

The reverent and worshipful fear of the Lord is the beginning (the chief and choice part) of Wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is insight and understanding. Proverbs 9:10 Amplified

If we mix Proverbs 24:3 and Proverbs 9:10 together it might read something like this:

Through reverent and worshipful fear of the Lord, a house (a life, a home, a family) is built.

As we build our homes, let’s make the reverent and worshipful fear of the Lord our foundation!

Pray it!: Lord, I want You to be the foundation of our home and family. I desire a genuinely reverent and worshipful fear of God to be the wisdom that our life, home, and family is built on. Help me as I endeavor to put first the Kingdom of God in every area of life – including family life. Amen.

the practice of togetherness

5 Jun

The rule of togetherness: the more you are with someone the more you get to know them.

God created us for fellowship with both HIM and OTHERS. When Jesus called the disciples he called them first to be WITH him. The purpose of fellowship and togetherness is the end result of relationship. In our busy lives of go, rush, and achieve, sometimes the practice of togetherness is abandoned.

We might be in a room full of people but not really be “together” … because we are all more engaged with our phone, TV, or computer. We can live in the same home as our spouse and children, but we have to be intentional about being together with them. We can think about God, go to Church,and even serve God, but miss genuine togetherness with Him.

So, today I ask myself… and encourage you to ask yourself…

1. Are you being intentional about being together with God? (not thinking about God or serving Him, but just being with Him and talking to Him, and reading His Word)

2. Are you investing into the togetherness of you and your spouse? (are you intentional about making quality time for just the two of you?)

3. Are you making the most of every moment you have with your children? Are you “all there” when you are with your children?

Pray it! Lord, help me today to be more intentional about the practice of togetherness. I love you and desire to have more quality time with you. Help me also to recognize opportunities to embrace the moments with the people in my life – especially my spouse and children.

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