The real gift giver

For obvious reasons a lot of tags with “To:” and “From:” are getting filled out at this time of the year.

With that fact in mind, I believe it’s important for children to know who the real gift-giver is, because when we receive a gift from above, the chimney isn’t the real source.

Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning.” (James 1:17 NKJV)

#children, #christmas, #parenting

Top three bed-time prayer items

Each night, my daughter and I say our prayer. The bulk of our prayer contains the traditional, “Now I lay me down to sleep…”, but there’s an additional part we are saying more and more often – specific things for which we’re thankful.

Depending on the number of items we include, the list can vary a little. But regardless of number or order, three items always seem to get mentioned: our family, our home and our food.

Not too bad of a list for a young child. A list worth having for all adults actually.

When it comes to prayer, supplication for others is important, requests are welcome, and remembering who God is a must … but thankfulness is an aspect of prayer that should be instilled into children in order that the mindset becomes a natural one as adults.

Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it.” (Proverbs 22:16 NKJV)

#parenting, #prayer, #thankfulness

Phases of life

Phases of life are as natural as phases of the moon.

Each phase of life is meant to be used to prepare us for the next (1 Corinthians 13:11, Ecclesiastes 11:7-10; 12).

A good tip for parents is to keep in mind what life was like for us during the phase that our children are currently in. The same could apply for grand-parents and grand-children.

At this point in time, I remember clearly what it was like to start kindergarten, and to spend time with my parents, grand-parents and great-grand-parents. I keep this mind when it comes to my child. I remember the memories that I want to create for her – memories that will be beneficial for as she goes through the different phases of her life.

Life is different through the perspective of a child. Backyards are huge! Bills are incomprehensible. The necessity of learning is something that mom and dad emphasize. The toy-isle is a slice of paradise. Slides, swings, wading in a creek, walking in the woods and watching cartoons stick with you for a long time. Each learning experience (and memory) allows a different experience (and memory) to be built.

It is easy to forget about the way others go through phases in life … especially a child. But remembering the importance of these phases will help to govern the way we deal with others as we go through our own.

To everything there is a season, a time for every purpose under heaven: a time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck what is planted; a time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up; a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance; a time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing; a time to gain, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to throw away; a time to tear, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak; a time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace.” (Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 NKJV)

#life, #parenting, #preparation

Racing through worship

One morning during worship, my five-year-old daughter passed the collection-basket, as it came and went, with a greater sense of urgency than usual. I told her to slow down.

She responded by informing me the ushers were in a race. Less than a minute later she told me which one won.

I responded by telling her what a lot of us adults need to hear – worship isn’t a race.

I will meditate on Your precepts, and contemplate Your ways.” (Psalm 119:15 NKJV)

#kids, #parenting, #worship

Beauty and the … Earth Beast

Don’t fail as Christian parents by bringing your children to see Disney’s latest remake of “Beauty and the Beast.” Continue reading

#culture-wars, #homosexual-agenda, #movies, #parenting, #western-culture

What are some ways a father can provoke their child to wrath?

Last week’s Gospel Advocate Foundations course (Adult Bible Study) discussed Ephesians 6:1-9.

This section of scripture includes the admonition to fathers which says,

“… fathers, do not provoke your children to wrath, but bring them up in the training and admonition of the Lord.” (Ephesians 6:4 NKJV)

After asking the provided question in the booklet for this verse, the class teacher followed up with his own question. I believe his question was/is a very important one. He asked, Continue reading

#discipline, #fathers, #parenting

What would you say if you were asked this by your child?

Last night, on our way to Bible study, we ended up driving part of the way behind a random driver (after pulling onto the road behind him). For some reason, one that only a young child could understand, my daughter asked, Continue reading

#jesus, #parenting, #questions-worth-thinking-about, #raising-faithful-children

Hugh’s News & Views (Twenty-One Steps . . .)

TWENTY-ONE STEPS TO THE ELECTRIC CHAIR, OR
HOW TO RAISE A JUVENILE DELINQUENT

Curtis Ramey was a gospel preacher, a practicing attorney in Fort Worth, TX, and, before that, a Juvenile Judge in Madison County (Huntsville), AL. Over forty years ago, brother Ramey wrote an article titled “Twenty-One Steps to the Electric Chair,” “Or, How to Raise a Juvenile Delinquent.”

Nineteen states now have no form of capital punishment and another four have a Governor’s-imposed moratorium on capital punishment. Of the twenty-seven states that still execute criminals, lethal injection is the most common, but the electric chair is still an option in four states and the backup form of execution in Tennessee if lethal injection fails.

We hear little today about the problem of juvenile delinquency, probably because it is no longer a politically correct term. But we still have young people who are guilty of heinous criminal behavior.

So, while the title of brother Ramey’s article is now a bit dated, his points are still relevant. We run it this week as a fitting sequel to Gus Nichols’ letter to his family at home that we ran last week. Here are the twenty-one steps. Continue reading

#hughfulford, #juvenile-deliquency, #parenting

Investing our time in our children

If I’m flying solo, I can mow our lawn in about 40 minutes.

If I have a “co-pilot” (my daughter), the same job takes me about an hour.

I think the extra 20 minutes will yield plenty of compound interest as I use it to create memories that will last the rest of my child’s life.

Time is the most valuable thing a parent can spend on his or her child. While our culture is currently stressing to the max the importance of investing in/saving up for a child’s future education, I still believe, due to the fact that we cannot get it back, the simplest investment, when it comes to our children, is the most important one that affects the right now – our time!

For us mortals, our time can start getting spread pretty thin if we’re not careful. There are only so many hours in a day after-all. And because of this, often times our children end up getting the short end of the stick … or maybe I should say the sort-hand on the clock, when it comes to the time we have available. I’m sure parents with multiple children and multiple obligations understand this very well. But the fact that we’re mortals stresses the importance even more so when it comes prioritizing the things we do in life; especially when it comes to the way we spend our time, and who we invest it in.

And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up.” (Deuteronomy 6:6-7)

#children, #family, #parenting, #time

Sharing our mistakes with our children

I can’t tell you exactly how my daughter knows that her mother and I have had a few auto-accidents between the two of us (all of which, with the exception of one, were our fault and when we were practically teenagers); but one thing I can tell you for sure is that for some reason, she likes for us to tell her about them as we’re driving down the road.

I know the kiddo has seen an accident or two on the road. Maybe after she saw one of the accidents she asked if we had ever been in any.

I guess it doesn’t matter exactly why she originally asked. I guess what matters is that we chose to share our mistakes with her…after-all, she wouldn’t have known about them unless we told her (we know it wasn’t grandma or grandpa that let the cat out of the bag).

I suppose it’s important for a Christian parent to share their mistakes with his or her child. Age discretion and maturity obvious play a factor as to the timing and details.

I believe there are certain matters that should remain between ourselves and our judge. But I also believe that it’s important for a child to know why they can privately trust God’s grace by openly explaining to them why we, as parents, need to do the same thing. Think about the conversations that David and Solomon must have obviously had…or Solomon and Rehoboam when it came to relationships!

I do not give this advice in order to hand a child an excuse as to why they should be able to be free to make the same mistakes as his or her parent – to the contrary! Sharing our mistakes with our children should be done in a way to help them understand why it’s important to follow the commands of our God and their God. For our goal as a parent must not only be to help them grow from young to old as our son or daughter; our goal as a Christian parent must also be to help our children become a brother or sister in Christ.

My son, hear the instruction of your father, and do not forsake the law of your mother; for they will be a graceful ornament on your head, and chains about your neck. My son, if sinners entice you, do not consent.” (Proverbs 1:8-10)

#learning-from-the-mistakes-of-others, #parenting, #raising-faithful-children

June 2016 Issue of Christian Worker (Strengthening Families)

Here’s a link to the latest PDF issue of the Christian Worker.

Here are the topics that you will find:

  • Why Strong Families are Important (Ben Moseley)
  • A Solid, Spiritual Foundation (Cody Westbrook)
  • How to Create a Distinctly Christian Family (Glenn Colley)
  • Husbands, Be Husbands (Jon McCormack)
  • Wives, Be Wives (Luanne Rogers)
  • Training Our Children (Matthew Gibson)
  • Serve the Lord Together (Michael Bonner)

Christian Worker is an edification effort of the Southwest church of Christ in Austin, Texas.

You can subscribe to the email version of the Christian Worker paper by clicking on the publications link on their website and then following the given instructions…or by clicking on the link provided here in The Fellowship Room under the “Friends” category to your right.

Copyright © 2016 Southwest church of Christ, All rights reserved.

#children, #christian-couples, #christian-family, #christian-worker, #christianity, #family, #husbands, #marriage, #parenting, #raising-faithful-children, #wives

Teach it at home

Ron T. has a good thought today on his blog, as usual, about teaching children, the next generation. I commented over there and said that parents are mostly derelict in their duty. Ron started a short list of what children ought to be taught:

Some of the things that need to be taught young people (and older folk also) would be the historicity of Jesus, salvation from sin, the nature and importance of the Lord’s church, the day of judgment that is before us all. these are but a few very important points of teaching.

What would you add to this list?

Friends, we must teach at home. Fathers, that responsibility falls especially upon you, as the spiritual guides of the home. Plan what, how, when you’re going to do this. Give it much, much thought. It is the greatest and highest responsibility we have.

Anyone familiar with a home curriculum for teaching one’s children the story of the Bible? Not homeschool material, necessarily, but something for an organized approach for parents?

Most parents do more planning for their vacation than they do for their children’s instruction in the Lord. There’s more movie watching and internet surfing than Bible reading. To the great shame of parents and to the children’s eternal danger.

#home #parenting #teaching

The difference between making a mistake as a parent and failing as parent

Let’s face it; you can’t make it through life as a parent without making mistakes. And making mistakes as a parent doesn’t automatically equate to someone being failure at it…nor do the mistakes made by your children. But the two can be very closely related.

Let me describe the difference:

Your children making the same mistakes you did as a young person doesn’t make you a failure at being a parent. Your children making the same mistakes you did as a young person with your blessing makes you a failure at being a parent.

Children are going to do things that are wrong – even when they know they don’t have the blessing of his or her parent. But for a child to gain a stamp of approval from a parent while they are doing something morally, ethically, financially or whatever is conceivably wrong is just plain wrong.

Listen to this – the youthful mistakes of a parent does not give that parent’s child a right to make the same mistakes! A wrong from a parent’s past will remain a wrong for his or her child in the future. And we will fail as parents if we don’t understand this principle.

Parents are there to be a guide for their children – a guide that hones the conscience by stepping in when a wrong decision is being made whether that child realizes it or not…and whether or not your conscience made the right decision when facing the same situation.

There’s a world of difference between making mistakes as a parent and failing as a parent; but intentionally allowing our children to do the former puts us dangerously close to the latter.

Now therefore, listen to me, my children; pay attention to the words of my mouth:” (Proverbs 7:24)

And by the way – the above quoted words came from a parent who made huge mistakes in his life, and that’s why he gave his son the warning, not the approval, that he needed to hear when it came to the responsibility of making his own choices.

#failure, #learning-from-the-mistakes-of-others, #parenting, #raising-faithful-children

Movie Review: Inside Out

Last night my family and I watched one of Disney’s latest movies, Inside Out. I was actually surprised at the quality of the movie. I’m not very keen on some of the actors/actresses who voice the characters, but, overall, the characters make for an animated movie that’s way more mature than childish…which is surprising for most modern-day Disney movies because when I say it’s mature, I mean it in a good way.

The strengths:

In my opinion, the movie will strike a chord with more adults than children when you get down to the root theme of the movie. Continue reading

#entertainment, #movie-review, #parenting

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8-14-2015 Truly Neglected Orphans

Christians can now pray David’s prayer: the wicked “have also surrounded me with words of hatred, And fought against me without a cause. In return for my love they are my accusers, But I give myself to prayer. Thus they have rewarded me evil for good, And hatred for my love” (Psalm 109:3-5 NKJV). Judgment upon the wicked may thus be: “Let his children be fatherless, And his wife a widow. Let his children continually be vagabonds, and beg; Let them seek their bread also from their desolate places (Psalm 109:9-10 NKJV). While fathers fiddle with their iphones and ipads, with email, LinkedIn, YouTube or Fantasy Sports, their children are “fatherless.” While mothers use Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr, or Pinterest, their children are “vagabonds, and beg” for love and attention. Children of the wicked, need parenting!

This is Johnny Polk, with “Words of Wisdom” brought to you by the Oneida church of Christ.

#judgment, #parenting, #social-media, #wicked