Raising Kids in the Church

Raising Kids in the Church

Candace B

Candace B

I am a proud wife and Mother! My hubby, Tyler, and I both attended Oklahoma Christian where our love grew! We got married, had two beautiful kiddos, our son Gunner and daughter Brooklyn, and we are living a truly blessed life! I am currently a stay-at-home-mom and I help my husband in every way in his position as a youth minister (It's a true labor of love and we wouldn't be anywhere else!). I am also working on my teacher certification so when both my kids get into school I will have a job that I am passionate about, get to see my kids all the time, and will be out when they are out. I am most importantly a Christian and strive daily to keep God #1 because he is the reason I have all the amazing blessings, I give him all the praise!
Candace B

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I never thought it would be this difficult, did you? When you became a parent did you realize just how hard it was going to be? Most (if not all) would say a resounding, “No!” I know I would.  Most importantly, did you know how hard it would be, not just to raise your children in God but also get them to Bible class and worship without losing your mind?

 “It is just too hard.”

“My kid doesn’t even understand.”

“We will get them into Bible class when they get into the youth group.”

If we wait until they get into the youth group, we have waited too long.

God gave us these blessings to show them love, support, and how to put God as the highest priority!  School is great and sports are fun too.  However, when we as parents start putting those things first, we need to look inside ourselves and see if our priorities reflect the Bible’s guidance on the matter.

“Train up a child in the way he should go,

Even when he is old he will not depart from it.”

Proverbs 22:6

proverbs-22-6

This scripture is powerful! Training up a child means making God the ultimate priority.  If we place him in every part of our life, our kids will follow our lead!  As parents, our kids want to be just like us, so we need to make sure we are showing Christ through ourselves first.

The world is already an imperfect, sinful place and it craves for us to be the light.  Some in the older generation might say, “This world is going to pot,” or “These kids don’t have a chance.” These types of comments truly break my heart because my kids are growing up in this world.  I refuse to believe that they have no chance but to live in a corrupt world!

If we let our kids grow up thinking there is no hope, not only will they feel discouraged but they will lose sight of what God needs them to be and that is THE LIGHT!  I pray that we encourage them as much as possible to believe that they CAN make a difference!  Bible class and worship reinforce hope in their lives.  I witnessed my daughter sharing this hope with another child at my son’s t-ball game. It was the sweetest thing ever and I welled up in tears.

“Did you know that Jesus died on the cross for our sins?

She gets it! And it’s because she is part of the church.

Let’s encourage our entire family to be part of the church. Don’t wait to introduce them to God’s family until their formative years have passed.

make-it-a-priority-to-worship-and-fellowship-with-the-body-of-believers-it-will-become-a-routine-and-worship-will-become-second-nature-to-our-children

A few ways to make life easier and enjoy going to Bible class and worship:

1. Take the kids to Bible class. This gives parents and children the opportunity to connect with the body of believers, and most importantly, they get to learn more about Jesus!

2. Rotate different toys and books. Each week in a small bag or backpack, bring something to worship that they haven’t had the chance to play with in a while.

3. Talk to your kids.  Set expectations of how to act during worship before it begins.

  • “We need to whisper.”
  • “Stay seated on the pew.”
  • “We need to pray, sing and listen.”
  • “Worship is not about us, it is all about God. If we stay nice and quiet, more people will hear more about God”.

4. Bible class and worship are important.  Make it a priority to worship and fellowship with the body of believers.  It will become a routine, and worship will become second nature to our children.

This has been on my heart. I hope it is a great source of encouragement to you and plants the seed that Bible class and worship are a blessing. Most importantly, know that your church family doesn’t mind that your little one wiggles and giggles. They are glad you are there. May God bless you and your sweet families!

What are some ways you have found helpful in making Bible class & worship a priority?

I Was Caught Clamming Up

I Was Caught Clamming Up

Meredith P

Meredith P

Hello, there!  I grew up as a military kid who loved adventure, so I fell in love with and married a military man right after college graduation.  The two of us had adventures together as we traveled for a while, but we finally settled in cozy Southern Indiana.  However the excitement is still alive, because God has given us four kiddos that I homeschool.  I love nerding out on anything from school curriculum to thrift store bargain hunting, from rockin' recipes to theological debates, and pretty much any lively discussion in between.  Thanks for reading!
Meredith P

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Have you ever tried to teach your child a lesson, only to realize God is trying to teach you the exact same lesson?

“You seem upset. Is there anything wrong?” I asked my eleven year old son. He shook his head and continued frantically looking around.

I Was CaughtClamming Up

Let me flash back with you for
a moment.
 About four hours before that short exchange took place, this son decided to take some of his favorite Lego mini-figures with him to church. Then this series of events took place:

  1. He left them on a table.
  2. Someone found them while cleaning up and brought them to me.
  3. I put them in my pocket to give to him.
  4. I forgot they were in my pocket.
  5. We came home.

Now, back to that short exchange above. Right after I asked him if something was wrong, it dawned on me. He was searching for his Legos. I reached into my pocket to give them to him, but I stopped. This son tends to clam up and not communicate, so I decided to wait and see if he would come to me or his father with his problem.

We had been trying to teach him the value of communication, and I thought this could be a good lesson. All he had to do was communicate his issue and it would be resolved. Boom! Done. But not so fast…lego-674615_1280

During the next hour, I watched him continue his frenzied search. I asked several times if I could help him or if he was upset about anything. Each time I received the same response, a polite, but curt, “No.”

My mama’s heart was breaking. If only he would say, “Mom, I can’t find my Lego guys. Can you help?” That would be my cue. Like a superhero, I’d dip into my pocket and retrieve the supposedly lost treasured items. He’d hug me and the music would swell; my proverbial hero’s cape would flutter and all would be well. Didn’t he know how much I loved him and that he could tell me anything? I told him every day in different ways.

With my heart raw and softened by witnessing the unnecessary plight of my child, I was struck, almost blown over with this powerful, yet gentle whispering in my soul,

“You do this to Me.”

“What? I do what?”

“You clam up with Me.”

“No, no I don’t. What my son is doing is ridiculous. All he has to do is…”

My heavenly Father was right.

I was caught clamming up.

With my heart even more tender toward my son, I squatted down as he searched desperately under the washer and dryer. Putting my hands gently on his shoulders, I said, “I can tell you are upset. Please share with me what is wrong.”

He looked up at me and said the words I was waiting to hear, “Mom, I can’t find my Lego guys. Can you help?”

Ah, there it was.

Not so much like the superhero I imagined earlier with the music swelling and cape fluttering, but more like an empathetic child myself, I reached into my pocket and gave him his mini-figures. Tenderly, I asked him why he didn’t come to me earlier for help. His answer hit my heart.

“I didn’t think you could do anything to help so I didn’t talk to you about it.”

Boom. Thoughts flooded my mind.

I sat down on the laundry room floor with him while he clutched his newly found Legos, trying to quickly capture those thoughts into a few sentences I can express to him.

He was right in some ways. While this time I was able to immediately fix what was bothering him, that would not always be the case. Sometimes, I wouldn’t be able to fix his problem or heartache, though I would if I could. Other times, even if I could resolve his problem, because I know it would be best for him to work out a particular issue on his own, I would not “fix it.” And then there would be times like this, that I could and should fix the problem for him. Those times will always be my favorite.

However, despite which circumstance it may be, I want to walk with him through his struggles. So I wrangled those thoughts into four sentences and said to him,

“I understand what you are saying. You are right. Sometimes, I won’t be able to fix your problem, but that doesn’t mean I can’t come alongside you and walk with you through your problem. I can carry some of the burden for you when you share with me what’s wrong.”

As mentioned before, he is eleven. I don’t know how much of those sentences he truly understood that day. I’m sure they will be repeated again in the future, but they resonated in my soul as I then heard,

“I also want to walk alongside you through your problems. Let me carry some of your burdens.”

“What? You want to do what?”

It wasn’t until later, when all was quiet, I remembered the verse from 1 Peter:

Cast your cares on him because he cares for you.

In that quiet moment, the simple beauty of this verse became very real to me. Through my own parenting, I caught a tiny glimpse into the beautiful and vast heart of our heavenly Father. He cares for you and me, and He so very much desires to walk alongside you and me through problems and carry them for us.

I imagined God saying my own parental thoughts back to me, “Don’t you know how much I love you and that you can tell me anything? Every day, I tell you that I love you through my Word and in my creation.”

I began to wonder if God’s heart breaks when we don’t come to Him with our problems. My heart certainly was breaking with my child. I strongly desire a relationship with my children where communication flows freely and often. I began to think how God the Father sent His Son to die so that He could have that free and open communication about all things, big and small, with us. Talk about wanting a relationship with someone!

Then I remembered what my son said earlier, “I didn’t think you could do anything to help so I didn’t talk to you about it.” Do I have this attitude toward God, my heavenly Father? Do I speak to Him about all things whether He “fixes” them for me or not?

He is the all-powerful, only true God and actually could fix all my problems if He wanted (I wonder if those times are His favorite). But I also know that He is all-knowing. He knows when He should not miraculously fix my problems because it is best for me to figure it out on my own. Then again, if I’m talking to Him about it, I am never really on my own. He will be right there, walking through the problem with me. Carrying some of it for me as I trust Him. He will be bending down with me as I look under the washer and dryer for the solution, so to speak. And I think His Father’s heart will swell with the communication and togetherness as mine would with my children.

So here’s to parenting and remembering these things:

1) Let’s remember to talk to Him about all things, big and small.

And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests.

Ephesians 6:18

2)Let’s not forget He walks with us through all things.

When you walk through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze. For I am the Lord your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior.”

Isaiah 43:2-3a

3) God miraculously fixed our huge problem already.

 He fixed our sin problem, but that is another story…

What lessons has God taught you though your children?

Do you come to Him in all situations?

Who’s in God’s House?

Who’s in God’s House?

Kristi F

I am an Oklahoman by birth, a Texan by current living situation, but claim the world as my playground.I love to travel and hope to someday soon take our family on adventures to far off lands, where we can share God with others and experience all the wonders He has created.

I am a mother of 4 crazy, homeschooling children ages 9 & under, wife to an amazing man, and daughter of the King of the Universe!I enjoy reading, making my kids laugh, cooking, all things natural, learning to play guitar and dusting off my piano skills.One day I hope to run again, but until then I’m learning patience.

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Who’s in God’s house?

The Church!  But who or what is the church? And how do you get in? These are all questions that are answered in this month’s Family Time Training Activity called God’s House.  (Download it for free during the month of June or sign up for unlimited access to all their materials.)

You have probably heard someone say, “I’m going to church!”

Although not a bad thing to say because we know what they mean, my husband and I have chosen to reiterate with our kids that we don’t go to church because we are the church.  Instead we say, “We are going to worship.” or “We are going to the church building.”

We chose to do this for two different reasons:

  1.  I did not realize growing up that the church in the Bible was actually referring to those who believed and followed Christ!
  2. One of my husband’s favorite a Capella groups called AVB  had a song called “U Can’t Go to Church.”  He almost always starts singing this song when our children say, “Let’s go to church.” It’s really funny, but it’s a good way to remember that we are the church.

God’s House Activity

Our family has 5 kids ages 9 years old to newborn.  As we sat down to do this activity, I wondered how each of them would process it.  I wondered if they would grasp the main concepts of

  1. How we become part of God’s house &
  2. Who all is a part of God’s house

Using the model of a house was a brilliant way to help explain these two concepts.  A paper template is included with this activity that your older children can fill in as you discuss these concepts with them and your younger children can color and cut while you are talking.

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Becoming Part of God’s House

God in his infinite mercy uses the K.I.S.S. principle (Keep It Simple Stupid) when it comes to salvation and this Family Time Training activity reinforces that idea.

I was excited how this activity explained that Jesus is the “door/gate” and we enter the house of God only through him.  I made all my children find the door and explained that the only way to enter God’s house is through Jesus.

So Jesus said again, “I am telling you the truth: I am the gate for the sheep.  All others who came before me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not listen to them. I am the gate. Those who come in by me will be saved; they will come in and go out and find pasture. The thief comes only in order to steal, kill, and destroy. I have come in order that you might have life—life in all its fullness. – John 10:7-10

Question: But how do we go through Jesus to enter the house?

Answer: We must believe that Jesus is the son of God and choose to obey him!

Obeying and disobeying is something children understand.  We are constantly teaching them this.  Explaining that Jesus is the only way into the house and we have to obey him to get in, makes crystal clear sense even to our 3 year old.

Who is a Part of God’s House?

This honestly is probably my favorite part of this activity.  Why?  Because I love Hebrews 12:1-2

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith.

In this passage, we see that those who believed and obeyed God in the past are cheering us on in the present.  So there is a clear representation of the body of Christ (God’s House) past and present together.

By writing out the apostles, the prophets, christian leaders from the past to present, our family, friends and future Christians, we start to see God’s House as more than just what we see sitting in the worship service. We see God’s House as an eternal legacy of Christ, one that is filled with people from the past, present, and the future.  It reminds us that our calling is not just to enter into God’s House through Jesus Christ but to call others to joyfully enter it as well!  We can be praying for our friends, family, and those who don’t know Christ yet but will be our brothers and sisters in Christ one day.

It’s a great way to help our children see that God’s House is filled with people we’ve read about as Bible heroes and reminds us that we can become present day heroes for Christ, too!  

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Taking this Idea a step further!

There are just so many great ways to use this house template to encourage our kids in their faith. Here are a few extras I thought about:

1.  Grab a Cardboard Box

My kids have been playing with cardboard boxes all week, making rocket ships and other contraptions.  You could easily use this small template and turn it into a cardboard box sized template that allowed them to walk into the house and write on the walls and roof.  Keep this in the house or on the porch for a week or so.  Every so often stop, gather around the house and pray.  Pray over your kids, their current church family, their brothers and sisters around the world, and those who will become their brothers and sisters in God’s House.

2. Learn more about Christian Leaders from 100 AD – 2,000 AD

Watch the great animated Torch Lighters Series and learn about St. Augustine, Corrie Ten Boom, and many others who are considered heroes of the faith! Or grab a kid friendly biography about them and make family reading time a time to bolster their faith and courage.

3. Read about Bible Leaders and Prophets

Let each child pick their favorite Bible leaders or prophet and read about them over dinner.  Talk about why they like them so much.  What characteristics would be good to imitate or foster in their own lives?  What draws them to that particular Bible character?  Remind them that these people are in God’s House, too!

How have you explained God’s House or who makes us the church to others?  

Praying James Chapter 1 (Part One)

Praying James Chapter 1 (Part One)

Kristi F

I am an Oklahoman by birth, a Texan by current living situation, but claim the world as my playground.I love to travel and hope to someday soon take our family on adventures to far off lands, where we can share God with others and experience all the wonders He has created.

I am a mother of 4 crazy, homeschooling children ages 9 & under, wife to an amazing man, and daughter of the King of the Universe!I enjoy reading, making my kids laugh, cooking, all things natural, learning to play guitar and dusting off my piano skills.One day I hope to run again, but until then I’m learning patience.

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About the Author

The book of James is considered to be written by James the brother of Jesus, which makes what he writes even more powerful. Why? Because James tried to stop Jesus. His family (brothers) thought he was crazy and didn’t believe Jesus when he said he was the son of God!

When his family heard about this, they went to take charge of him, for they said, “He is out of his mind.”
Mark 3:21

The After-Resurrection Conversation

After Jesus rose from the dead, he appeared to James (1 Corinthians 15:7).  Can you imagine that conversation?  I’m sure it was filled with lots of tears, repentance, forgiveness, and Jesus’ amazing grace. After that episode, James becomes Jesus’ biggest supporter.  As one of the leaders in the Jerusalem church (Acts 15), he bravely proclaims Jesus as his Lord and Savior.

The Book of James

In the book of James, James captures so much of what Jesus said in a shortened form.  It’s almost like he is saying,

“Hey, brother!  I know there was a time in my life when I didn’t believe you, but now I wholeheartedly do and I’m following you!  I’ve taken what you said to heart and sharing it with others because I don’t want them to miss out on the gems you have passed on!”

Praying James 1:2-3

Lord, help reset our hearts and mind. We often have a “why me” mentality and fall into complaining when trials arise. Help us to consider it pure joy whenever we face any type of trial because we know that through it you will grow our faith as long as we lean into you and don’t give up. Then we can look back and see all the awesome things you did to help us persevere. We will see how you can use our situation to encourage others. Praise your name for using even the most difficult time for your glory. In the One who walked this earth and suffered more than we can imagine to bring you glory – Amen!

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James 1:4

Lord, you are amazing! You not only give us unlimited love and forgiveness, but you make us complete! You never promise this life will be easy, but you do promise that everything we do for you is worth it. When we get tired and frustrated, you cheer us on. You give us the strength to keep going. By focusing on you, we are able to see that we will not lack anything in the end. You will provide all we need for the here and now and bless us in heaven one day too! Thank you for being our biggest cheerleader and providing the Holy Spirit to help us focus on you so that we can let perseverance finish its work to make us mature and complete. In Jesus’ name – Amen!

james-1-4

James 1:5

Lord, we look to you for wisdom because you know all! We humble our prideful selves before you and admit that we do not. It blows our minds that you, the God of all, takes time to listen to each of us when we call out to you. You promise to give us wisdom and guidance, if only we ask and not doubt that we will receive it. Help us use this wisdom to better understand how to love you and others.

You are awesome and holy! Thank you, Lord, for all that you give us, from your son to your time to your wisdom. Thank you for such good gifts that draw us closer to you! In the One who taught us about how much you love us – Amen!

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James 1:6

Oh, Lord! When we call out to you asking for wisdom and guidance, help us to wholeheartedly believe you will give it to us! Every day, you are growing our faith so that as we mature, our belief grows stronger and doubts stop affecting us like they did before.

If we have any doubts, help us call out to you like the father of the demon-possessed son, who cried out, “‘I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!'” And oh, how you helped him, Lord!

You rebuked the spirit and through prayer his son was healed! We praise you, Lord, for sharing such an example with us of how trusting in you and leaning on prayer is so powerful!

In the One whom we can trust to take our prayers to his Father’s throne – Amen!

james-1-6

James 1:7-8

Lord, you are holy and mighty! We know this to be true. We trust the truth of the Bible and see how you’ve worked in so many different ways. Sometimes we find it difficult to understand how you are working in our lives or what exactly you want us to do. Help us to continue to be in your word so we can  discern what is from you and what is not from you. We ask that we will hear clearly what the Holy Spirit guides us to do. Help us to trust that he will help us in our prayers.

We ask that we will be bold and courageous in our prayers. Father, let us come to you, fully trusting that you will not only hear our prayers but answer them in accordance with your will. We praise you, Lord, for this avenue of prayer. In the One who redeemed our relationship with you – Amen!

james-1-7-8

James 1:9-10

Lord, we praise you for creating each one of us in a unique and special way. We praise you because you don’t look on the outside or determine our worth based on our wealth. Instead, you look at our hearts. Our value is found in you and you ask each of us, whether rich or poor, to humble ourselves before you and to focus our efforts on what is lasting.
 
We pray that throughout our day we will humble ourselves to your will, even when the world tries to convince us that living a life in your honor is not worth it. Convict us to love you more than our physical possessions. In the One who gave us his heavenly comforts to humble himself to your will and save us from ourselves – Amen!
james-1-9-10

James 1:11

 How this verse packs a punch, Lord! We praise you for telling the truth and not sugar-coating the consequences to a life not focused on you. These verses show us how our focus can get so off when the world’s idea of success consumes us, that we can “fade away” while going on with our business.
 
Oh, Lord, we pray we do not let that happen. We don’t want to spiritually fade in order to gain the worldly things which will never satisfy. If we allow material possessions to take over our lives, convict us so strongly that we are willing to give them up for you!
 
May you always have our hearts. Let us freely share our possessions so they will never replace you in our lives. May we  focus our lives not on wealth, status, or power, but on honoring you with all that we are. In the One who humbles the proud and raises up the humble – Amen!
james-1-11

James 1:13

Lord, we praise you that only good fills every part of you! When we mess up, we often want to throw the blame anywhere but ourselves. We pray we will take responsibility for our actions. Help us lean into you when evil, tempting thoughts take root in our hearts and minds, so that they will not become actions that dishonor you. We thank you that you do not judge us by our temptations but help deliver us from evil. May we always remember that you will provide a way out when we are tempted. You will not let the devil deceive us into thinking this temptation is our only option. In the One who broke the hold Satan has over us – Amen!
james-1-13

James 1:14-15

Lord, we praise you once again for providing ways out when we are tempted. Help us not push the Holy Spirit aside, but to heed his warning when we rationalize why a sin isn’t so bad or so wrong. Instead of allowing the temptation to hold in our thoughts and hearts, help us flee from it. Help us ask for your help instead of trying to wrestle with it on our own. You are much stronger than we are. We know it’s by the powerful name of Jesus Christ that we can expel sin from our lives. May we reach out to you and call on your name instead of giving in to the evil desire and letting ourselves be dragged away into sin.
 
Our hearts break when we fall back into sin. But we praise you for being a God who will forgive us when we come to you with repentant hearts. Thank you for your love, grace, mercy, and ultimate forgiveness in Christ Jesus our Lord. It is in His powerful name we pray – Amen!

james-1-14-15

 James 1: 16-17

Oh, Lord, help us not be deceived by Satan’s temptations. He tries to make his “gifts” look so enticing. He wraps up death in a pretty package, that once unwrapped, delivers pain and suffering.

Instead, help us remember that you and you alone give amazing gifts. All your gifts bring life! Help us remember this even when those blessings and gifts come wrapped in trials. Drawing closer to you through these trials gives us the most precious gifts of all. In the One who showed us how obedience to you brings you ultimate glory and us glory as well – Amen!
james-1-16-17

James 1:18

Oh, Lord how blessed we are that in you there is only truth and love! Even more so that you chose “to give us birth through the word of truth.” What a precious gift! You have not left us in the dark but provided us the light and life we need to walk through this dark world and to be a light to others as well.

We praise you because when you give gifts, they are never for us to hold onto selfishly but to bless others with in the process. Help us to shine your light of truth so others may see your glory. In the One who is our guiding light – Amen!

james-1-18

 

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I Want to Change Churches

I Want to Change Churches

Toni D

Toni D

Toni was born and raised in a small town in Oklahoma.She graduated from East Central University with a Bachelor's of Science Degree in Business Administration with a concentration in Economics.After college, she returned to her hometown to marry her best friend, Charles.Toni is a stay at home mom to their three teens, two boys and a girl, whom God led them to homeschool.Her goal is to raise her children to love and serve the Lord.They live on a farm where they grow produce to sell at several farmers markets.She also plays the piano at church and teaches piano.
Toni D

Convicted

I have shared a few of my pastor’s messages recently.  For the last several weeks, they have really hit close to home and have been very convicting.  It really was making me uncomfortable.  As we visited with the pastor one Sunday, I told him that I was going to have to change churches.  Understandably, he was a little concerned.  I then told him that his sermons were convicting me and he needed to stop.  Thankfully, he understands my sarcasm and understood that was a compliment.  But, nonetheless, I have been convicted of so much recently.

So many “TV preachers” only preach inspirational messages.

They hardly ever open the Bible and quote Scripture.  They do not call sin, sin.  If they offend someone with their message, they would likely lose money, so they only preach “feel-good” sermons.  We need preachers who are not afraid to offend and who are not “politically correct.”  We need to be discerning of the “preachers” we watch or listen to.  If your preacher’s message on sin makes you uncomfortable, God is probably convicting you about something.  When a message challenges us, it is good, because we need to be convicted by God when we sin.  We need our preachers to preach the Word of God.  They should fear God and not man.

I am not saying that the preacher can not give an uplifting sermon.  We go to church to fellowship with other believers also.  I would not want go to a church that was all doom and gloom, either.  The purpose of going to church is not entertainment. Do not get me wrong; we have fun at our church, but we also have a preacher who preaches the Word of God.  We go to worship and learn.  If you are not getting this at your church, it may be time to prayerfully seek out a new church.

Are your pastor’s sermons convicting you?

 

Change Your Day by Blessing God!

Change Your Day by Blessing God!

Kristi F

I am an Oklahoman by birth, a Texan by current living situation, but claim the world as my playground.I love to travel and hope to someday soon take our family on adventures to far off lands, where we can share God with others and experience all the wonders He has created.

I am a mother of 4 crazy, homeschooling children ages 9 & under, wife to an amazing man, and daughter of the King of the Universe!I enjoy reading, making my kids laugh, cooking, all things natural, learning to play guitar and dusting off my piano skills.One day I hope to run again, but until then I’m learning patience.

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We’ve all wanted to rewind or hit the restart button because our day or our attitude isn’t going how we would it.  Truly, this is a lot easier than you might think!  You can change your day by blessing God!  And it all starts by understanding that “The Lord is greater!”

“The Lord is greater” is the resounding message!

Wherever we are, we need to post this message all over so we don’t forget it.  While it’s easy to say in light of remembering Christ’s resurrection, how often do we say it when:

  • Fear enters our hearts?
  • Sin happens in our lives again?
  • Situations overwhelm us?
  • Complaints pile up?

Why is it that we can bask in Jesus’ resurrection one moment, and in the next moment forget that this truth–“The Lord is greater”–is TRUE in EVERY SITUATION?

As I think about this question for myself, I realize that I forget to indulge in this truth daily.

Don’t forget to indulge in this truth daily!

What if we start out every day reminding our hearts that “The Lord is greater” and carry that throughout the day?

Sounds a bit like praying without ceasing, doesn’t it?

Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

Although I have attempted to pray without ceasing, it wasn’t until I read about this idea of blessing God and seeing his presence and glory in every situation that I was able to firmly grab hold of this concept.  As a result of blessing God, not only did my perspective change, but so did my attitude.  The grumbling and complaining decreased, and the awe and joy I found in the Lord increased. When I start to grumble and complain, I realize that I’m not blessing God.

What does it mean to bless God?

Perhaps, if you’re like me, you might have thought a blessing was a way of hoping for something good for someone else.  But it seems that in this context, blessing God is more equal to recognizing and standing in awe of who He is, and then praising him out loud for what you have witnessed.

Bless the LORD, O my soul, and all that is within me, bless his holy name!
Psalm 103:1

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Examples of Blessings

Here are some examples of blessings that Spangler and Tverberg share in their book, Sitting at the Feet of Rabbi Jesus:

  • “I am grateful before You, living and eternal King, for returning my soul to me with compassion.  You are faithful beyond measure.” This is often said upon waking.
  • “Blessed is he who has given the rooster understanding to distinguish between day and night.”
  • “Blessed is he who has given a pleasant smell to fruits.”
  • “Blessed are you, O Lord our God, King of the universe…”, or in Hebrew, “Barukh atah, Adonai Elohenu, Melek ha-olam…

So what if…

Instead of complaining, we find something about the situation for which to bless God?

Instead of grumbling that our alarm just pierced our deep sleep, what about praising God for the good night’s sleep, another day to glorify him, and the opportunity to have another chance at life?

What if we took time to notice the details God has created and bless him for thinking of such amazing things?

What if instead of being frustrated with our kids, we took a step back and praised God for the fruit of the Holy Spirit he has placed within us, so that we can be full of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control? (Can you tell this is one I’ve been praising God for lately?)

What if…(filll in the blank)?

What is something that has been bothering you lately? Find a way to give it to God; then bless God for it.

What can you bless God for right this minute?

If you need some help with blessings, read Psalm 103 in its entirety.  It will definitely get you in the mood to bless God.

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Blessing God leads to remembering that the Lord is Greater!

As we start to bless God in the morning and throughout the rest of our day, we will be able to keep the resounding message firmly planted in our hearts that “the Lord is Greater!”

The Lord is greater than anything we will face. Therefore, we can have confidence as we approach each circumstance from the slightest annoyance to the most difficult thing Satan will throw at us.

Prayer over our Hearts

Oh Lord, blessed are you, King of the Universe, Creator of all!  You and you alone are worthy of praise.  You have brought us out of sin and gifted us with your eternal glory.  Oh Lord, we bless you in all your ways.  May we take the time throughout our daily lives to bless you for all you have done and will ever do!  As we do this, plant the truth in our hearts that you are greater than anything we might face. In the One who has blessed our lives so we can rejoice in you, Amen!

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