Hello life!

Praise the Lord it feels great to be in the full swing of family life again! For the past approx. seven months, I have had a battle with sciatica and at my worst was having to walk with the assistance of a walker! The simplest of daily duties quickly became a mountain to be conquered and some of them just could not be done by me! Through the prayers and support of friends and family, I am now back in the running! I have received much revelation on so many levels during this whole trial and my life will NEVER be the same! The word “health” has taken on a whole new meaning and I am learning new disciplines and habits to stay healthy and enjoy “length of days”. In sooo many ways, the Bible is correct where it says, “We perish for a lack of knowledge”. I fully intend to take better care of my “earth suit” and be more appreciative for everything good in life! It is good to be back and I am returning with an increased passion for life and learning how God says we should be living it. Thanks for being supportive to “Dusting Pockets”…Kim 

Advertisements

Ask and you shall receive!

I apologize for taking soo long to post…I have been recovering from sciatica. I have had a bulged disc in my lower back putting pressure on my sciatic nerve which incurs pain like I have never experienced before! I am a very active mom of four and a Pre-k teacher who is very accustomed to going at MACH 5 with my hair on fire! LOL! I have been having difficulty for a few months, but I am a woman “on the go” with a lot of things to accomplish so I kept plowing forward. I have always been blessed with overall great health. My life as I have lived it for quite some time, came to a screeching halt a few days ago! For the last week, I have been grounded! In order to allow your body to heal itself, you have to eliminate any and all pressure on the spine. Any sitting or being completely vertical is detrimental to this condition. I originally thought, “Ok, I might have to rest for a day or two and then everything will be back to normal”. NOT!! Ok, at this point, I am starting to get a little perturbed at the inconvenience of it all! So, after exhausting all that I knew to do, I straight-up inquired of the Lord as to why I was not healed of this annoyance…the ways in which we set ourselves up. I was promptly reminded that the Lord has the ability AND the desire to heal us. However, His utmost desire for us is to “be in good health”! He can heal any affliction or disease, BUT, if we have unhealthy habits or lifestyles that do not promote good health and well being, we will simply end up in the exact same predicament or WORSE!

As Christians, we are representing the kingdom! How can we call ourselves a witness to the world if we can/will not exercise common wisdom in regards to our health? The Lord blesses us with many things, but friends, He gave us just one earth suit! Now I am not in any measure discounting grace or divine healing…both are available. I have gotten a new revelation on health through all of this. His number one desire for us is to have wisdom, health AND length of days! For example, King Solomon was having a conversation with the Lord. The Lord basically told him, “Inquire of me whatever you want…”.Solomon asked the Lord for wisdom. The Lord told him he was going to give him more wisdom AND health, all the days of his life, than anyone else! He got it too! Guess what…till now, no one has ever had more wisdom than Solomon.  HOWEVER…out of all of that, he did not exercise that wisdom and his life was cut short!  He did not get length of days. He developed an unhealthy lifestyle (spiritually) and began worshiping the pagan gods of some of his many wives. Yikes!! Crop failure! The reason I am sharing this with you is this…God put us all here to be of support to each other. How could I claim to be a member of the Body of Christ (family) and not want to help someone else to not make the same mistake? The Lord has been dealing with me for sometime that my priorities were getting out of balance. Do you remember the story about Martha and Mary? Well, the Lord has been showing me for some time that I needed to balance those two parts of my life. I’ve strived so hard over the past years to be the diligent (Martha) wife and the dutiful and nurturing mom ( and later child care director/pre-k teacher) that I was giving priority to all of the duties and responsibilities and ceased spending quality time seeking Him, His wisdom and His ability to help cover all of those bases (like Mary). It’s good to strive for the spirit of excellence, but sometimes there is a fine line between that and getting caught up in the cares of the world that the Lord warns against. When Martha complained to Jesus that Mary was not helping, He told her, “Martha, you are troubled by many things..”. Martha was stressed because she was not seeking Him first and was not reminded that He could help with all of those things. He might of even shown her a few short-cuts. She was relying on her own ability to accomplish it all. You can also exhaust yourself and compromise your health. Especially as parents, what good will all of that diligence be if we are not seeking the Lord first and His wisdom to discern and navigate the whole journey?! As if that was not enough, all of our “little clones” are following in our footsteps and grow up making the same choices. Not only do I want to have that fellowship with the Lord…while I’m there I’ll inquire of him on behalf of my spouse, children, intercede on behalf of others, rec. revelation, etc. I want to be knowledgeable on what ” thus saith the Lord” is in order to live a healthy and victorious life full of wisdom AND have length of days!! Praise the Lord!! I still have at least fifty more years to enjoy my spouse, children, grandchildren AND my great-grandchildren. We still have a lot of God’s creation to explore and a lot of memories to make together! Friends, I desire the same for you.! Do not let Satan or anyone else convince you into settling for anything less than God’s very best and His utmost! God instructed us to come boldly to the throne! You don’t have to take my word for it…ASK HIM and then brace yourself…God bless you!

Grace is out the window…

Two things are necessary for the proper teaching of children: a right attitude and a right foundation. An atmosphere of destructive criticism, sarcasm, condemnation, unrealistic expectations and fear will “provoke a child to wrath”. No sound teaching can take place in such an atmosphere. Whereas, a positive atmosphere would be rich in tenderness, patience, listening, affection, love and encouragement. In a positive atmosphere, parents can sow into the lives of their children the foundation of the knowledge of God. Deut. 6: 5-7 “…and 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.” The heart was considered the “seat” of the mind and will. Proverbs 13:24 “He who spares his rod hates his son, but he who loves him disciplines him promptly.” The literal translation of “promptly” in this scripture means “early”. God has a plan for family order and corrective discipline of our children. Discipline is the other side of teaching. A child with a teachable spirit will still need thorough explanation, much patience, opportunity to try and experiment, including the right to fail and learn by that failure. However, a child who exercises willful disobedience closes off effective teaching and disrupts the harmony of the family. This principle or concept does not originate with my personal opinion or beliefs. This is God’s written word and instruction for parents. It is a mandate. God’s answer to this is firm and loving discipline. As christian parents we can not pick and choose which scriptures in the bible to accept and which ones to turn our heads and ignore or try to refute. Well we can, but, the absence of us being willing to acknowledge or accept the revelation does not negate that it is still the infallible Word of God. It’s still there and nothing has changed just because we may choose not to seek the revelation that comes with it. It is a part of our human nature to want to turn a blind eye and a deaf ear to certain things in life that we do not understand or have fear of. We do this because with the revelation comes the accountability. In our minds and reasoning we believe that God is going to require something of us that we are not willing to do or let go of!

The bible makes a clear distinction between discipline and physical abuse. Discipline should never be injurious and we are never to inflict harm on a child. The bible says that God describes Himself as a strict disciplinarian. His correction may cause us pain, but He always disciplines us out of love and for our benefit… Hebrews 12:5-11. The bible teaches that far from neglecting us, He shows Himself to be a true Father in the experience of discipline. Such treatment is not administered harshly, but in love, with the intention of bringing us into spiritual maturity. Sometimes God will use adverse circumstances as instruments to accomplish His purpose. Likewise, He requires us to get an early start on properly correcting our children. By disciplining our children in a Godly manner, the bible says that we can literally alter their eternal destination in life! (Proverbs 20:14)  Proverbs 29:15 states “…discipline and correction give wisdom but a child left to himself brings his mother shame.” As parents, we have to teach our children to trust our love for them and our discernment and wisdom to make decisions on their behalf. We need to teach them to conform their will to what we believe to be the best for them at that particular moment of their life until a time of which they reach maturity or “age of accountability”. The decisions that we make on their behalf will insure their safety, health, peace of mind and provide enriched experiences from which to build life-coping skills.

Our Heavenly Father administers grace to us and likewise, we should exercise an age-appropriate measure of grace towards our children. There eventually comes a time though,  where accountability is inevitable. Choices that they will make will either incur blessing and promote peace or end up in consequences and remorse. Grace is good but, upon a child clearly displaying a rebellious heart and attitude, THEN… “grace is out the window” and it is time to redirect their will. Grace is a great blessing that should never be presumptuously taken for granted. In other words, we should never believe or teach that we can purposefully sin and presume that grace is going to cover us every time. Some bad choices in life can be turned around, and others, we do not get the chance to make it right. Children need to be taught to be attentive when being addressed in order to receive instruction. Then they must learn to exercise age appropriate self control to follow simple directions and gradually learn to master more complex directions which challenge their thought process and physical ability. If a child is not taught and required to obey simple directions, likewise they may choose not to obey when you tell them not to run out in the street, not to ingest good tasting things out of the medicine cabinet without permission, etc. Sometimes, we are not afforded the luxury of getting a second chance. Sometimes, the outcome is heart wrenching and incur unbearable consequences. That’s why it is vital to their learning to be taught the importance of obedience and even prompt obedience. Sometimes with obedience, time is of the essence! Upon giving our children a Godly foundation, we are exercising our faith, believing God’s word to be true AND His ability and will to see it through to the end. Just like we expect our children to trust our love for them, we should be trusting the Lord to honor His word and love for us!

Consider it this way:

We are living in an age where technology is growing phenomenally. Most children are so knowledgeable about electronics that they can navigate hand-held games, cell phones and computers more efficiently than we can! Most of those electronics are designed to have a reset button. They can crazily “trick-out” and customize their electronics to suit their fancy and whims. Sometimes they get so crazy with all of that, something conflicts with everything else and BOOM something goes awry! Now their really cool toy is “locked up” or is going haywire! Even young children are knowledgeable of the reset option in order to restart or return the device back to the manufacturer’s settings. This takes the device back to a “beginning” or a “stable state of being” and lets them start over. “Dusting pockets” is a Godly means of discipline that finds that reset button which is wired to the brain and the heart (mind and will). Remember, the experience of failure causes the brain to re-wire itself and tend to our mistakes. This is where learning comes in. Upon the insistent willful disobedience of a child, after instruction AND grace, correction and discipline now need to be administered. This implies, “Whoops, a speed bump in progress…let’s go back to this point, start over and help you see how, where and why your train jumped the track.” Done properly, this gets the undivided attention of the child and identifies to them where and how they made their mistake. It keeps them on course and on the task at hand. They also need to learn to persevere until that task has been completed. Godly learning just took place! Praise the Lord!

God’s plan for training up our children will bring unlimited blessings, peace and harmony to our homes and everywhere your children go they will be a living testimony of the love and goodness of God. You will not HAVE to share with anyone what your beliefs are. They will see it in your children even before you can open your mouth. Their manners, respect & consideration they display towards others and appearance will speak volumes. Instilling these characteristics in our children automatically earns them favor in life and opens the door for opportunities that otherwise may not have been made available to them. Even by the world’s standards, the corporate world and many others recognize this.

We should be rising every day of our lives with joy and great expectations of what that day is going to hold for each of us individually and collectively as a family. When living a Godly life of obedience, we should then expect to reap the blessings that the Lord bestows upon us. Ministry begins in the home. So what if we have an important title at work? If we are a non-attentive, non-caring or negligent parent at home with the people we claim to love…then exactly how do we rate in God’s eyes? Are we exercising Godly stewardship over the blessings that He has given us OR are we purposefully choosing worldly alternative means and standards to raise our children? We should strive for and desire to be found as the faithful steward that Jesus taught about in the parable. We are all going to give an accounting for the seeds we have sown into our children’s lives. I would much rather plead “guilty” to the Lord for being over protective than being found lacking…..”Yes Lord, I did not let them go to that friend’s house or that party.” They will not be scarred for life! The flip side of that would be…”Lord, I’m sorry for not taking time to discern that situation or consult with you for wisdom before I made a decision to let them ride off with …I was really busy at the moment…I’m sorry I let that happen to them…” Sometime moments come in our lives when we get an epiphany.

Epiph-a-ny: 1) a sudden manifestation or perception of the essential nature or meaning of something. 2) an intuitive grasp of reality through something usually simple or striking.\ 3) an illuminating discovery or revealing moment.

I would much rather get an epiphany NOW about what God expects out of me as a christian and parent, than be found lacking when that time of accountability comes. I do not want to be willfully guilty of “pulling the dumb card” because I am fearful that God will require something out of me that I’m not capable of delivering. It’s not God’s nature to set us up for failure but to set us up for success and victory. I want the revelation of what God desires for me here and now. I do not desire to stumble through life sorrowfully being subjected to the world and satan’s plan for my demise with the idea that all will pan out in the sweet by-n-by. Not only do I want to be victorious in this life to the end, I want to enjoy the journey! God wants us to desire this and to claim it for our children and children’s children! Out of our love for our children, we should want them to experience all the same blessings and victories. We need to be diligent to seek the Lord for wisdom on how to make that happen. Faith requires action. Disciplining our children in a Godly way is exercising faith that God will honor His word.

If you had an issue with an appliance or piece of equipment, you would consult your Owner’s Manual in order to troubleshoot and solve the problem. If you still could not resolve the problem, you would then result to holding the manufacturer accountable according to the written warranty or guarantee that came with it. Parents and friends, God is the Creator and manufacturer of all life. The bible is His written warranty and guarantee to us that insures success even to the point of our children being saved from an eternity in hell. I do not just want to influence my children now for appearance sake. I want to impact their lives enough even to the point of insuring they spend eternity with the Lord. The act of choosing this lifestyle for our families will impact not only us but to include everyone we come in contact with. Our families will be a living confirmation, example and testimony to the world that God exists and He loves them. In the meantime, we can live a life with many fond memories, keep our joy and enjoy the journey together. God bless you!

I’m the Boss!

Sometimes parenting young children can be exhausting, especially for new parents. If only I knew then what I know now! I believe most parents “guinea-pig”  the first one and a half children and learn by trial and error as they go along! They establish a game plan for all the ones to follow after that! Then…BOOM! The next child born has a temperament totally different than that of the former.What to do now!! LOL! New parents have a tendency to panic. However, HAVE NO FEAR!! God would not bless you with that tender little being and not give you the wisdom to take care of it. He’s not just sitting up there deriving pleasure from your torment and frustration. Children are supposed to be a blessing in the home! Lighten up and enjoy the journey. There are many priceless memories to be made! When your child becomes mobile and begins to discover all the neat things in your home, that is when you begin to re-direct them in the way you need for them to go. As they begin to test the durability of everything in their reach, you begin to make preferences on the things that are safe for them to play with. At this point, many things are not safe for them! You will then begin to introduce the word “no” in relation to all of the “no touches” in their environment. They are not going to understand the “why not” at this point. They do not even have the verbal skills to ask why not. They lack the maturity and/or discernment needed to make an educated decision. You DO have all that is needed AND you are the adult so when you say “no”, you need to stick to your decision as many times as they try it again. Sometimes it will test your patience or pluck your last nerve, but remember, you are building a foundation that will last a lifetime!

Once the child becomes old enough to express their desires and will verbally, that is the parents cue to begin to establish general rules, limits and boundaries. Now comes the most important rule in parenting-Beforehand, parents need to discuss their beliefs and goals in regards to discipline and make a sober commitment to each other to be in agreement and of one accord on all decisions. Parents that try to discipline with different standards send mixed signals to their children. This keeps them confused and frustrated and creates strife in the home. Children learn quickly that they can go to the other parent to get a more favorable answer if they were not satisfied with the first one! “No” really needs to mean “no” and “yes” needs to be honored no matter how inconvenient! Children of all ages need to have clear, defined limits, boundaries and rules. This promotes peace, order and security for the child. They learn to know what is expected of them and upon obeying, they are secure in knowing the outcome. We also need to foster age-appropriate independence in our children. If you give a whole group of children unstructured time to play, almost immediately, they will begin to establish a “pecking order”. It will soon become evident who the “leaders” and “followers” are! They will begin staking claims on who gets to be the policeman, teacher, fireman, parent, etc. Most all of them want to be in a position of authority over someone else! It’s human nature! Watch how quickly small children learn how to use the words “yes” and “no” on you or someone else! They’re smart!! So…when raising young children, you can pray for creative ways to put things on their level of understanding. Discipline is not just giving consequences when bad choices are made. It is giving instruction and training them in the way they should go. They need to hear  and learn why you said no. Is it a matter of timing, convenience or safety?  You are training them to think for themselves. You are fostering self-discipline. God gave us all the right of free will or choice. We learn to exercise it and live with our decision. It may begat a blessing or induce a consequence! This eventually teaches them to discern people and circumstances for themselves and sharpens their power of reasoning. Doctors and child psychologists have learned that it is VITAL to learning AND that it is HEALTHY for children to experience some degree of failure. The brain actually re-wires itself by tending to our mistakes and bad choices. Brain scans prove this!! This will promote good life-coping skills as they learn to handle disappointments, frustrations, and various emotions that come with failure. We can be there to console, comfort and advise them upon experiencing failure OR be readily available to celebrate their victory in mastering something! The key is being there! If you are not present, you do not have “airtime” for teaching and redirecting. Getting angry, being short tempered, brushing them off or sending them to their room does not solve anything except giving you time to cool down and/or decide to sacrifice what you are doing at that moment to address the situation. That program on tv, that telephone conversation, or computer time can be sacrificed for the greater good.

I have discovered an explanation that has proven to be successful in teaching young children the importance of obeying. It has become a foundation to be built upon year after year, as they grow and mature. This biblical principle can be put on their level in this manner:

“God gave this,(pointing to myself), heart to me and He expects me to be the boss over my heart. He gave that, (pointing to them), heart to you and He expects  you to be the boss over your heart. You are not the boss over someone else’s heart and they are not the boss over yours. We all need to be the “boss” over our own hearts. Mom and dad are here to help you make good choices! We are here to help you do things that you do not know how to do because we love you sooo much! As long as you are making good choices and being the “boss” over your heart, you won’t need our help! When you are having trouble being the boss over your heart, we are going to help you because we love you sooo much! More importantly, God loves you! We want Him to be happy about all of us, especially you! We want Him to bless your socks off”.  This empowers your child with a sense of worth AND promotes the picture of them being celebrated when successful. At this point in the conversation, your child is beside themself, giggling with laughter and is anticipating being pleasing to you! It has not become a battle of my will -vs-your will. AND, who doesn’t like to feel celebrated! Even as adults, we like to feel celebrated in front of our peers and have our efforts or accomplishments acknowledged. How much more-so does that place your child on cloud nine and set them up for success! Your loving, nurturing and optimistic approach appeals to their human nature! They will strive to have your stamp of approval and be celebrated by you! They will yearn to be pleasing in your sight. As they mature, you can teach them of the importance of being pleasing in God’s sight and how the bible teaches that He is omnipresent and is looking for opportunities to bless our socks off! God takes pleasure in blessing us! The way in which we communicate with our children should mirror the manner in which the Lord deals with us! He is loving, nurturing, patient and gracious. We, as parents, should model all of these same attributes to our children. Then when they reach that age of accountability that the bible talks about, they have a solid foundation and tenderness of heart to receive instruction directly from the Lord. By then,  they will have established standards for themselves that will keep them from being influenced by false doctrines and pitfalls that others succumb to. They will have learned to follow the path of peace and will strive for the spirit of excellence in all that they do! Because of their obedience to heed the commandments of the Lord and their willingness to be led of His Spirit, they will have learned to step out in faith expecting to experience blessings and victories in every area of their life!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

i’m

Do you hear the words comin outta YOUR mouth?!

One day in my classroom of four and five year old preschool children, a child blurted out a choice word that he had heard from home in a moment of dad’s unleashed temper! Just as fast as it hit my ears, children began to tattle and blurt out what the little boy had said. As fast as I could, I was pointing to each one and saying, “Ok, I heard. You don’t say that…that’s not a good…I said I heard. Do not repeat that!” Fires were popping up faster than I could put them out! I began explaining that even adults are not supposed to talk like that. While I ‘m speaking, another child blurts out uninvited, “Oh, that’s not bad…my dad says !@#?*! when his tool breaks and he smashes his hand…”. Oh my goodness! They all started shouting over each other telling all about what their parents say at home! If parents only knew how their little ones were singing like mocking birds at preschool, they would keep them home and lock the doors! In a moment of shock followed by an intellectual brainstorm, I then proceed to instruct the child on what is the proper course of action to take next time he hears dad talk like that. I instructed him that upon hearing that again, he should respectfully say, “Ohhhh,  you had big words in your mouth and God heard them”! He thought that was really cool. I could see the smoke clearing and all the fires were now extinguished so I proceeded with my lesson.” After all”,  I told myself, ” he can not remember his middle name so it will be ok”. I did not give it another thought until several days later a mom, upon dropping off her child, began to tell me about something that happened at home the day before. She was laughing uncontrollably and proceeded to describe the look of shock on her angry husbands face when he was corrected by their son! She warned me of a possibly offensive phone call that I might receive…you guessed it! We lost additional acreage due to that fire before all was done! Talk about crop failure!! Let’s try this approach…

No matter the age, I feel confident that we all have some degree of improvement that can be made on the words that come out of our mouths! We have words or quips that have been passed down from generation to generation or they have been obtained by social contact and various sources of media.These are deemed by many to be a sign of wit, humor and sometimes even intelligence! Even according to worldly standards, being eloquent of speech can lend immediate favor in given circumstances. God’s word says that words fitly spoken can promote life or words carelessly spoken promote death! Our prayer should be like Psalm 19:14, “Let the words of my mouth AND the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight oh Lord, my strength and my Redeemer”. This literally means, “let what I speak and what my heart murmurs to itself, be a delight to you Lord”. We should always speak the kind of words that confirm what we believe in our heart about God, His love and His power. If we believe, yet we contradict that belief with careless words, it’s not acceptable with the Lord! The bible says, “Whoever guards his mouth and tongue, keeps his soul from troubles”. (Proverbs 21:23) It  also says, “A wholesome tongue is a tree of life, but perverseness in it breaks the spirit”. (Proverbs 15:4) How can we, out of anger, curse everything around us and then marvel when things go awry! We sometimes carelessly claim things like, “I’m gettin sick and tired of…” OR “That almost gave me a heart attack”! These things are not in line with God’s word for our lives, success, health and peace of mind! How is it that sometimes parents will even say things to their children like, “Are you stupid?! What were you thinking”?! OR “What’s wrong with you? You are a bad boy/girl and I’m not going to speak to you”! Remember, our children will repeat the behaviors that they see in us and not what we tell them to do. Also, the image of us being in authority over them is what perspective they are going to have about God being in authority over them! God daily grants us unmerited grace, favor and forgiveness. Who are we that we will not display the same towards our own children? We should never berate or address our children in a demeaning manner! Matter of fact, we should be speaking and praying God’s word over them. Even as early as before birth, parents can be praying blessings over their child/children and have faith believing God will perform it! Faith takes action! Parents, lay hands on your children and speak the word of God over them and their life. They need to hear you praying for them! It promotes a bond between children and parents. They also will feel celebrated by you! Children need to know they are important and are loved by us! Even as adults, it is human nature to feel the need to be celebrated by someone! Also children will learn how easy it is to talk to God in thanksgiving, worshiping and making their petitions known. They need to learn what God has to say about their inheritance, circumstance, health, happiness, dreams, desires and future as well as the past! They then will reach a point where they are praying out loud the same scriptures over themselves, you and others! Remember that Jesus said the kingdom is made up of such as them?!

Children are very precious in the sight of the Lord! Children are looking to us for words of confirmation, affirmation, approval and acceptance. Are we going to raise up children lacking all the same things in their lives that we lack in ours? “Oh, I’m sorry! You lost the genetic lottery! I was never successful in that subject or in relationships so you will be just like me”. We are supposed to be nurturing them with the Word. You remember what I said about children reaching a point where they are praying scripture aloud? The bible says that we should meditate on God’s word daily. From what I understand, the word “meditate” in that scripture means to utter audibly in a low voice. That sounds like prayer to me! Also, did you know that we have a part of our brain called the thalmus? The thalmus is like the hard drive of the brain. A thought is just that…a thought. When that thought comes out of your mouth…it then becomes a part of your thalmus which is like your hard drive. It is then there for recall as needed! How awesome is that? Then in a moment of fear, that child remembers that God does not give a spirit of fear but of love and a sound mind! In a moment of doubt, that child remembers that he can be ten times wiser than the children of the world and all his/her steps are ordered of the Lord. Oh my goodness what a victorious life we can set our children up for! You can pray over them for anything to EVERYTHING concerning their past, present and certainly the future! Learn what the Lord has to say about your children and your grandchildren! Step out in faith and claim those things believing that you are a child of the Most High God, He loves you and you were created for all of this AND He’s got everything under control. The God ordained possibilities for our children are limitless!

Philippians 4:8 ” Finally bretheren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy-meditate on these things.”

Do you have good and wholesome memories from your childhood that have helped to sustain you through your adulthood? Character and conduct begin in our minds and our actions are affected by the things we dwell on in our idle thought time. The words true, noble, just, pure, lovely and of good report indicate things sincere, clean, modest, morally faultless, authentic, of reality and that which harmonizes with historical facts. Some adults schedule their child’s every waking moment to the max in order to keep them occupied and engaged in one activity or another! They are so committed that it results in exhaustion, stress and frustration. What was meant to be fun is no longer fun!

God created our minds as well as our bodies to have down time or time where there is no stimulation or manipulation from an outside force. Just time to ponder and meditate on things and life. Our life experiences and the activities that we engage in create memories of a good or bad nature. We then marinate on those memories in our thought life. Those memories will then promote love, peace, sound mind and a passion to live life OR fear, anger, frustration/stress etc. Then, during our and their resting time we wonder why we can not sleep. Proper rest affects our physical health as well as our mental health. For example, children watch cartoons and other programs, that are alledgedly rated for early childhood which introduce all kinds of un-natural and un-Godly looking creatures that display un-Godlike characteristics and behaviors. God placed in every child a measure of curiousity and a natural drive to learn. They are going to ingest whatever we make available to them! Brain development is very much influenced by our early environment and it’s influence is long-lasting!

Have you ever noticed that in the midst of numerous new Christmas gifts, that your child would rather play with the box that the new household appliance came in?! WHY IS THAT and don’t you just want to shout?! After all, don’t they realize how long you fought traffic and cashier lines to secure that AND what a dent it put in your account? LOL!! Not! And to add insult to injury…the box was FREE!  That child is going to make more wholesome memories pretending and using their imagination AND those memories need to include you! If you do not make time for them now, they will not have time for you later. Also, when life presents them with trials and tribulations, they are going to need those memories for recall to help get them through a hard time. It gives hope in a time of trouble! Many adults in this day and age are still plaqued by bad memories from their childhood. They have memories of someone’s unleashed anger, disappointments, rejections and abuse or neglect. Short of divine intervention, they are still dragging through life, dreading every new day and are very miserable. They do not have fun or heartwarming memories to dwell on.

Family Fun At The Beach

God did not intend for us to just exist without hope and enjoying all that He created. We need to be creating great memories with our children which bring laughter, promote mental and physical health, reinforce family ties and confirm the need to live a Godly life! These things cement our bonds with our children! They’ re going to bond with someone. Is it going to be you or their peers?  Whoever they are going to be spending time with is going to have “airtime” to be of an influence over them. Ask the Lord to give you creative ideas on things you can do with your children that make good memories! In all the years that I have been surrounded by children of all ages, I have never heard a child reminisce about getting to have their own tv in their room and watch unlimited cartoons. They do not cherish those memories.They will remember the simple things  that they longed to do with you that you never “had time” for! Children cherish memories like:

making tents with old sheets and blankets draped over the furniture on a rainy day

camping/hiking and discovering nature

having family pillow fights (yes adults can do this and it’s a load of fun!)

turning out all the lights and playing hide and seek in the dark

camping overnight on the trampoline or in the back yard

All of these moments lend you the opportunity for  “air time” with your children. They are intriqued by anything out of the norm! These kinds of memories are then there for recall in a moment of sadness, sickness, depression, anxiety or fear. The condition of our minds and our will to thrive affect every other portion of our lives and the people around us. It’s also condusive to the joyful, content and victorious life that God intended for us to have! We want a life filled with love, hope and peace for ourselves and loved ones! Take time to make memories of the highest quality with your children. It will help to sustain them through many years to come!

My Whole Family

Philippians 4:8

How do children rate on God’s list?

Jesus was having a discussion with His disciples one day and they inquired of Him, “Who then is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?” (Matthew 18:1-5, 10) Jesus called a child to Himself, placed him in the midst of them and said, “Assuredly I say to you, unless you become converted and become as little children, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore, whoever humbles himself as this little child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.Whoever recieves one little child in My name receives Me. Take heed that you do not despise one of these little ones, for I say to you that in heaven, their angels always see the face of My Father who is in heaven.” WOW!! Their angels are likely guardian angels of the highest rank! They always see the face of My Father Jesus said!  The way into the kingdom of heaven is by the simple trust and dependence of a child. The way to greatness in the kingdom is by the humility of a child expressed in humble service.

Psalm 127:3  “Children are a heritage from the Lord.” Loving and caring for children honors God! They are ours only in a secondary sense. He blesses us with children,  entrusting them to us to beloved, nurtured, protected and raised up in the fear and admonition of the Lord. We, as parents, are supposed to be the buffer between our children and the whole rest of the world.

Proverbs 22:6  “Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old, he will not depart from it.” “ Train up” has the idea  of a parent sowing into a child all the wisdom, love, nurturing and discipline that is needed for him/her to mature in the Lord. “In the way he should go” is to train the child according to their unique personality, gifts and ambitions.

Ephesians 6:1-4  “Children obey your parents in the Lord for this is right. Honor your father and your mother…that it may be well with you and you may live long on the earth. And you fathers, do not provoke your children to wrath, but bring them up in the training and admonition of the Lord.” The whole concept of children growing up obeying their parents is not an old fashioned opinion or a false interpretation of scripture. It’s all there in black and white and there’s no gray area. It does not get any simpler than that. It is a mandate from God to our children. God also promises longevity of life on this earth for their obedience!

God holds us, the parents, responsible for the upbringing of our children-not the grandparents, daycares, schools, youth groups or peers! He gave them to us first! Each of these might be of influence on our children, but the final duty rests with us, particularly the fathers. God appointed fathers to be the head of the household to lead and serve the family. These Godly principles are guaranteed for “believing” parents. Also, being an ” at home mom” is often discounted by the world and scorned as being a lesser achievement and does not rate very high on the world’s scale. Hold your heads up high moms because you are making dear to you what is dear to God! Children are precious in the sight of the Lord!  Actually, how many positions are higher than that!  Two things are necessary for the proper raising of children: a right attitude and a right foundation. As parents and a “spiritual umbrella” over our children, we should shield them from the whiles of the world, teach discernment, deposit grace, sow love……..we are that child’s reflector and protector. Whatever we place before our children is what we are going to see in the mirror! Parents if we are experiencing unrest, strife and dissatisfaction in our home, we have to discern where these influences are coming from. Are these things coming from an outside influence…OR are WE the outside influence! Are there things that we have sown into our lives that begat restlessness, strife, etc.? If we are displaying Godly characteristics, that is what we will see reflecting in our children. Many times, even as christians, we say, ” What happens at home, stays at home. We are all adults in the privacy of our own homes”. Remember what I said about “blowing smoke at yourself”? Friends, do not deceive yourself and do not let Satan rob you of God’s promises in regards to your family’s health,  finances and peace!  You may be temporarily “hiding” your choice of how you spend your time from the world. However, God Almighty is omnipresent. We can not teach our children one standard and live another. We should be sowing the best of what God has to offer into our children in order to guarantee a successful harvest. Anything less will result degrees of crop failure! Parents, I encourage you to realize the importance of what God has blessed you with. Do not listen to the world and become weary in well doing. What an honor to be deemed a temporary steward over some of God’s most cherished possessions! Daily, claim God’s promises over your children! Let them hear you pray over them! Making these things a part of your family’s lifestlye will bring you great honor and happiness that money can not buy! Remember, your not just impacting one generation, your impacting generations to come! Leave a legacy!!