Wednesday, January 21, 2009

No, I Can't...But YES, HE Can!

A friend sent me an e-mail today with this devotional from Proverbs 31 Ministries...what a great encouragement!

I love Beth Moore's comment at the most recent "Living Proof Live" event I attended in Jacksonville:

"How can I tell somebody there's victory in Jesus when I can't seem to get victory over a sink of dirty dishes?"

If that's where you are today--feeling swallowed up by your "to-do list," then take a minute to check out the devotional from Renee Swope. It's good stuff.

Thank You, Lord, for Your encouragment, and for Your promise that we can obtain mercy and grace when we boldy approach Your throne in our time of need!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

From the President

As we step into a new season in America, as President Obama begins his service as President, I just thought I'd share a quote I heard today from a former U.S. Presidet, Theodore Roosevelt:

"The woman’s task is not easy—no task worth doing is easy—but in doing it, and when she has done it, there shall come to her the highest and holiest joy known to mankind; and having done it, she shall have the reward prophesied in Scripture; for her husband and her children, yes, and all people who realize that her work lies at the foundation of all national happiness and greatness, shall rise up and call her blessed."

Encouraging words to those of us who are "in the trenches" of parenting!

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Let's Check the Mirror

II Corinthians 3 is a good reminder to us that as we live out the ministry of parenting (or any ministry God has placed us in, for that matter), we are to be "mirrors"...reflectors of God's the world around us, or, as parents--to the children in our homes.

Verse 18 (NLT) tells us:
"And all of us have had that veil removed so that we can be mirrors that brightly reflect the glory of the Lord. And as the Spirit of the Lord works within us, we become more and more like him and reflect his glory even more. "

So, how's my mirror?

Does my overly-annoyed tone-of-voice about accidentally spilled milk tell my children that they are a burden to me...and to God? That I am...that God is...easily angered?

Does my inconsistency...with loving discipline, with my Bible reading, with physical exercise, with keeping the house clean...tell my children that I am...that God is...not consistent, not dependable, and ever-changing?

Does the fact that I'm "too busy" to stop and give the homeless woman across the street some food...tell my children that I am...that God is...not concerned with the poor?

Does the fact that we consistently run late getting to church on Sundays...tell my children that I...that God...does not truly value the assembly of the Saints?

Does the fact that I watch television shows with foul language and inappropriate content "after the children are alseep" (but they are really wide-awake in the next room!!!) ...tell my children that God has a different set of standards for adults than He does for children?

Does the fact that my house is a mess right this minute, when all three of us know nothing shows Daddy more honor (according to him) than when he comes home to a clean house...tell my children that I don't...that God doesn't...value my spouse or marriage?


WOW! That's an overwhelming list of things I need to work on! Praise God for His Word, where He tells us, in II Corinthians 3, verses 5-6, and 16-17:

"It is not that we think we can do anything of lasting value by ourselves. Our only power and success come from God. He is the one who has enabled us to represent his new covenant....
But whenever anyone turns to the Lord, then the veil is taken away. Now, the Lord is the Spirit, and wherever the Spirit of the Lord is, he gives freedom. "

So--Lord Jesus, today I turn to You...please empower me by Your Spirit...remove the veil, and help me to live a blameless life, before You and before my children, that they may truly see Your glory!

Friday, January 9, 2009

G.T. Jackson

"Pure and lasting religion in the sight of God our Father means that we must care for orphans and widows in their troubles....." (from James 1:27, NLT)

THIS is REAL "children's ministry" -- adoption...a beautiful picture of what God has done for us through Christ, a living illustration of God's grace!

Blessings to my friends Brian and Melanie, & their son Walker, upon the adoption of their newest little blessing: Graham Thomas.

Graham, may you grow to know and love and serve Jesus as your forever family diligently SHOWS and TELLS you of His goodness and love!

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Parenting is a Ministry, Session 1

Last night, we started a new parenting video study series at church. We are using a curriculum called, "Parenting is a Ministry," with Pastor Craig Caster. We will be meeting on the first and third Wednesday of each month. If you'd like to do the video series with us, you can actually see the videos and get the study guide online at:

As I watched, I was reminded of the brutal truth: when we "get crazy" on our kids (responding in ungodly anger towards their negative behaviors), it isn't because they "make us act that way." It's that God is using them to bring out what is already on the inside of us so that we can face it and ask Him to deal with it. Like Emerson Eggerichs put it in "Love & Respect,"....if you crush rose petals, you get a wonderful fragrance....if you step on a skunk, it'll stink every time! :)

I also loved the fresh insight gained from his explaination of Moses striking the rock rather than speaking to it...good stuff!

If you're interested, check out the video, and comment to let us know what you gleaned from watching.

Jesus, please help me today as I seek to reflect Your glory into the lives of my kids.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

First Post--What am I Doing Here?

I grew up, the attentive firstborn of four children, in a home with two parents who, while certainly imperfect as all human parents are, fell completely in love with Jesus during the course of my childhood. We went from being a "good all-American family," to a family firmly established on the solid foundation of Christ Jesus. For that, I give God all the praise!

I grew up in typical American church culture, and while I wouldn't trade that Bible teaching for anything, I have come to recognize the importance of THE HOME, even more than the Church, in reaching children for Christ.

I have come to realize that more than just pouring Biblical Truth into children during Sunday and Wednesday meetings and Vacation Bible School, the Church's real responsibility goes deeper. Scripture tells us that a primary function of church leaders is to EQUIP the Saints for the work of the ministry--and what greater ministry do we have than our ministry to the little people we tuck into bed at night?

In order to successfully reach children for God's Kingdom, the Church must equip parents to minister effectively in their own homes. Concerning truly Godly parenting, in most cases, the ball was dropped so long ago, that today most folks don't even know what "the ball" looks like!We must go through much training and long hours in Driver's Ed before we are able to actually get a driver's license and drive a vehicle alone in the United States. Yet, before we are able to have children, most of us go through no formal training whatsoever. I have found some links online that contain very helpful resources for parents who are looking to sharpen their parenting skills to the glory of God. I hope you find my posted links as helpful as I have!

I do not claim to have arrived in my parenting. I am still learning and being equipped myself, but this blog is simply a bunch of postings of things I've learned along the way as I've enjoyed a BRIEF stint as a school teacher and served in church children's ministry for a decade...and as I am now, by God's grace, mothering the children God has entrusted to me.