Praying Scripture for Your Children

Daily Truth:  “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness”  II Timothy 3:16

 

 

Before Easter, I suggested we start praying scripture for our children.

When I started this a few weeks ago, I started pondering reasons that I should be praying scripture for my children.  I came up with 5 reasons although I am sure there are others.

Do you have your journals ready?

WARNING:  There are going to be days that the devil is going to cause you to doubt the validity of praying scripture for your children.  You need to be able to grab these verses quickly.  Nothing will defeat the lies of the devil faster than God’s Word of Truth!

1.  Satan wants our children.  Satan knows that the only thing we can take to Heaven with us are those things we do for Christ here on earth.  Our mission as mom’s is to raise our children in a way that would honor Christ.  So, don’t you think Satan will stop at nothing to get our children?

“For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.”  Ephesians 6:2

“And the Lord said, Simon, Simon, behold, Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat”  Luke 22:31

 

2.  We are commanded to pray for our children.

Arise, cry out in the night: in the beginning of the watches pour out thine heart like water before the face of the Lord: lift up thy hands toward him for the life of thy young children”  Lamentations 2:19

Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints”  Ephesians 6:18

Although these verses aren’t direct commands for praying scripture for our children, the command is there to pray.

I had never seen this verse in Lamentations before.  In chapter 2 God is describing His wrath being poured out on His people for their sins.  However, verse 19 can still be used for us today. We need to, as mother’s be willing to pour out our hearts to God and lift to Him the lives of our young children.  The picture of a mother overcome with grief for the life of her children is such a strong image.

 

3.  We receive God’s power and have direct access to God.

“The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much”  James 5:16

The Amplified Bible translates it as follows:  “The earnest (heartfelt, continued) prayer of a righteous man makes tremendous power available [dynamic in its working”

Imagine – when we pray earnestly and continually we are tapping into God’s power!  Praying scripture for our children gives us promises that we can claim for our children and that is powerful!

“Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.”  Hebrews 4:16

We are to come boldly (fearlessly) before God’s throne when praying scripture for our children.  He is not a God or King to cower in fear from.  He wants to hear our petitions.

 

4.  Scripture is God’s Word.  I know this seems obvious.  But think about it ladies.  When we are praying scripture we are praying God’s actual words to Him.  We are praying His promises.  God says that He is not slack concerning His promises.

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God”  John 1:1

Excuse the length of this next passage.  However, once again the word picture is too beautiful to ignore.

“For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.

For as the rain cometh down, and the snow from heaven, and returneth not thither, but watereth the earth, and maketh it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower, and bread to the eater:

So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.”  Isaiah 55:9-11

 

5.  God’s Word is powerful.

“For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.”  Hebrews 4:12

The image here is of one going to battle against their fiercest enemy.  Remember the first point in praying scripture for our children?  We are battling the Prince of the Air.  He is our fiercest enemy.   Praying Scripture is that sword that we need to battle Satan.

Take that blue highlighter (or whatever color) and go through your Bible and highlight these verses.

Then dig deeper and find other verse that you can use to support these reasons for praying scripture for our children.

Until Next Week,

Rebekah

klink

 

 

Praying for My Children

Daily Truth:  “For this child I prayed; and the Lord hath given me my petition which I asked of him.”  I Samuel 1:27

 

Praying for my children.

Seems like such a simple task.  Yet, how often I have failed in this area.  Oh, I pray for my children.

“Help them to have a good day.’

“Help them to obey in school and to be kind.”

But I mean the type of praying for my children that parallels the pleading of the woman in Matthew 15:22-28 for her daughter.

This woman was so convinced that Jesus would heal her demon possessed daughter that she even endured the cruel remarks of the disciples.

She would not leave Jesus’ feet until her request had been answered.

She knew the power of “praying for my children”.

That’s the type of praying I am talking about.  The type of praying for my children in which I plead for them at Jesus’ feet.

Having been forced to “be still” for 2 1/2 weeks this is one thing that the Lord really convicted me about.  I mean REALLY convicted me.

I have this book entitled Praying the Scriptures for Your Children  by Jodie Berndt. I started reading it during that time.

This book was what I needed.  It is filled with scripture and encourages you to dig deeper into God’s Word.

Well, ladies, that’s what I did.

I started out by thinking of women in the Bible who prayed for their children.  We already discussed the desperate mother of a demon possessed child earlier.  But there are others.

 Hannah – Samuel’s mom.

She so desperately wanted a child.  Her husband’s other wife already had children and mocked Hannah because the “Lord had closed her womb“.

Elkanah was no help.  He asked Hannah why she wept, and wasn’t he enough.  Poor guy was clueless!

Hannah went to the temple to pray hoping to find peace and reassurance.  However, as she was pleading with God for a son (specific prayer) along comes Eli and thinks she’s drunk.

(Thought:  Have I ever prayed so fervently that people thought I was crazy?)

Hannah reassures him that she isn’t drunk and explains why she was there and for what she was praying.

Eli reassures her that God heard her prayer.

Hannah, in faith, returns home no longer sad.  Talk about knowing the power of praying for your children.

Sure enough God heard her cry and answered her prayer for a son.  Her prayer of thanksgiving has become one of the most famous verses for praying for a child and dedicating him to the Lord.

I Samuel 1:27-28   ” For this child I prayed, and the Lord has granted me my petition which I asked of Him.  Therefore I also have lent him to the Lord; as long as he lives he shall be lent to the Lord.” So they worshiped the Lord there.”

Eunice and Lois – Timothy’s mother and grandmother

Paul compares Timothy’s genuine faith to that of his mother and grandmother.  Although scripture doesn’t specifically say that they prayed for Timothy, we’re smart enough to connect the dots.

Genuine faith doesn’t just happen.  It is developed through scripture reading and prayer.

They saw the results of  “praying for my children” .

 Virtuous Woman

Once again scripture doesn’t specifically say that she prayed for her children.  Yet, we can surmise that this is true based off of Proverbs 31:30.

“But a woman who fears the Lord, she shall be praised.”

She understood the necessity of “praying for my children”.

The next few weeks, I would like you to explore this topic of “praying for my children” with me.  We are going to dig into God’s Word together.

You see, we aren’t just going to pray for our children.  We are going to pray specific scripture for our children.

Here is what you will need:

 – Bible

– Two journals (trust me)

– Highlighter

– Pen

– Glue

– Scissors (No, you aren’t cutting up your Bible)

– Access to www.Biblegateway.com (Although this isn’t absolutely necessary, it will be very helpful in locating scriptures.)

– A copy of  Praying the Scriptures for Your Children  by Jodie Berndt although not necessary it is super helpful.

Are you up to the challenge of not just “praying for my children”, but “praying SCRIPTURE for my children”?

Are you ready to have God work in your heart like never before?

Until next week,

Rebekah

klink

 

 

 

 

 

Out of Commission: Lessons Learned from Being Still.

Daily Truth: “Be still and know that I am God.” Psalms 46:10

 

Out of commission.  Not something usually attributed to mom’s.

However, we’ve all been there at some point.  We wake up with a headache or come down with the flu and…..

Wham!

We are out of commission for a few hours or even a couple of days.

Yet somehow the fam still has to be fed, kids still have to get to school, boo-boo’s still need to be kissed, etc.

That was me – out of commission for 2 1/2 weeks.

I knew it was coming.  I prepared as best as I could with a checklist of items.

Freezer meals made – check.

Laundry done – check.

Sister here – check.

Clothes laid out for the kids for the week – check.

House cleaned – check.

 

Yet, somehow it didn’t feel like it was going to be enough.

The day came.  Everyone was ready.  Thus began my time of being out of commission.

Don’t get me wrong, I still kissed boo-boo’s and listened to how the days went for each child. But I didn’t move from my chair in the living room except for when absolutely necessary.

However, I must say I learned a lot while being out of commission.

So, here are “Lessons learned from an Out of Commission Mom”.

1.  It’s OK to say “no”.  We mom’s are so busy and we make ourselves even busier by adding extra burdens on us.  Then we wonder why we have melt downs.  It was so refreshing to be able to tell people “No, I can’t do that because….”. For 2 1/2 weeks, no responsibilities except for my family.  REFRESHING!!!!

2.  Devotional time can be refreshing.  I have had a devotional book that I have been meaning to tackle for about 4 months and just never got to it. Well, I got to it and it forced me to go deep into God’s Word.

To my shame, too often my devotional time was a quick verse and a prayer.

 I wondered why I would feel spiritually depleted.

When I was forced to sit, my devotional time was amazing.  I would start and then look at the clock and an hour would have passed!

I’ll say more about this another week.

3.  It’s OK to ask for help.  My sister could only stay for a week.  My mom helped as much as she could as well as my husband.  But there were times we needed another set of hands.  That’s when we called on our friends.  It is amazing the friends that God brings in your life before you “need” help.  When that time comes where you just can’t do it by yourself, those friends are there for you – ready and willing to help!

4.  It’s OK to accept help when it’s offered.  People would text and say, “I’m bringing a meal.”  or “I am taking the littlest guy for a play date these days.”  They didn’t ask.  They just did it.  All of those people made my recovery time so much shorter because I could get much needed rest.

Warning: Both asking for and accepting help can be very humbling.

5.  It’s amazing how much help the kids can be.  The house got cleaned, laundry got done, and supper was put on the table all with the kids help.  Ok.  So, it wasn’t up to “Mom” standards but it was sufficient and much appreciated.

6.  Cards and texts were an encouragement.  Can I tell you what it was like to get a card with a quick note saying, “Praying for you”?  I’d get a text a few times a day from friends just checking up on me.  Huge blessing.

7.  My husband is the BEST!!!! “For better or worse” has been put to the test the last few years with God entrusted trials.  Yet, my husband has always been there for me.  I depended on him completely the first few days of my “out of commission” time. He never sighed or made a comment.  He just helped.

Me and the Hubs out to dinner.
Me and the Hubs out to dinner.

Everyday he reassured me that he still loved me (despite wearing sweatpants and t-shirts for 2 weeks).

When I knew I was going to be out of commission for awhile, I was ready for it mentally.  Yet, I wasn’t ready for the lessons that I would learn spiritually and emotionally.

Honestly, would not have chosen the path that I was put on, but I wouldn’t change it for anything.

Until next week,

Rebekah

klink

Lessons from Bees: Working Together

Daily Truth:  “Do all things without murmurings and disputings:”  Philippians 2:14

 

My 6 year old son has been obsessed with bees lately.  Not sure what has brought this on, but you never know how a 6 year old mind works.

Any rate, he brought home from the school library the other day two books on bees and a Moody Bible Institute DVD titled City of the Bees.

Super excited about it, he insisted we watch it THAT night.  So, once all the homework was done, I put in the DVD.

Now, mind you, this DVD was more on the level of a 5th grader but who was I to squash his curious mind.

While watching the movie, my 5 year old son kept asking my 6 year old son a gazillion questions about the bees.  My 6 year old son answered them in only the way a 6 year old can.  My 7 year old daughter sat on the couch with the look of utter boredom on her face.

The next morning at breakfast we talked about the movie on bees that they watched.

Below is how the conversation played out.

Seven year old:  “Did you know that if we humans worked together like the bees, there wouldn’t be any fighting?”  (I guess she did learn something!)

Six year old:  “Did you know that the queen whistles when there is an enemy coming?”  (hmmm – didn’t know that)

Now we have been working on Philippians 2:14 this past week as a family.  The kids have been doing way to much “murmuring and disputings” for this mom’s taste the last two weeks!

Even wrote the verse on the window with window markers!  (desperate or brilliant – not sure)

Use Window Markers or dry erase markers to write on windows.
Use Window Markers or dry erase markers to write on windows.

Can we say “teaching moment”!!!!

Mom: “So, if the bees are to have honey and a ‘happy hive’ they have to work together, right?”

Eleven year old: “I know where this is going!”

Mom: “Well, according to our verse, if we are to be able to enjoy fun and pleasant things, we need to work together without complaining and fighting just like the bees do.  Then we’ll have a ‘happy hive’.”

(giggles)

Mom: “Who is in charge of the hive?”

All: “The Queen Bee.”

Mom:  ” What would happen if the bees heard the Queen Bee whistle the warning and one of them said, ‘Oh, I’ll come in a minute’ ?”

5 year old: “They could die!”

Mom: “It’s important that the bees obey right away.  Whose in charge of you during the day?”

Kids: “You are.”

Mom: “Let’s call me the Queen Bee.”
(Insert 11 year old rolling eyes – working on that!)

“When I tell you to do something and you say, ‘Just a minute’ are you obeying right away?”

Kids: “No. We get in trouble.”

Mom: “Right.  So, see we can learn lessons from even the bees that God created about obedience and working together.”

Ok.  So maybe watching the DVD on bees was not MY first choice on spending 27 minutes with my kids before bed.  However, the lessons they learned from an unlikely source were invaluable.

My 6 year old is now insisting that dad watch it with us this Friday night.

Popcorn will be handy for this encore presentation.

Until next week,

Rebekah

klink

 

 

 

 

Love, Not Just For Valentine’s Day

 Daily Truth:   “And now abide faith, hope, love, these three:  but the greatest of these is love.”  1 Corinthians 13:13

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On Valentine’s Day love is written on conversation hearts, chocolates, and cards. Children make cards and parents buy cards to share on this special day.   According to Hallmark, 1,400 billion cards are made for Valentine’s Day.  Valentine’s Day is second only to Christmas in the amount of cards mailed.

There are thousands of books, poems, and songs written about love. Artwork, both paintings and sculptures depict this.   We long for and seek after love.

Why is love so important?  We are made in the image of God. (Genesis 1:27)  So we are made for love.

The Greek word “agape” is the type of love that means love, dear, and charity.

The greatest of faith, hope, and love is love.  “And we have known and believed the love that God has for us.God is love, and he who abides in love abides in God, and God in him.”  1 John 4:16

This Valentine’s Day share love with your neighbors, family, and friends.  Make cookies and cards or do an act of kindness to share God’s love.   Teach your children about sharing with others.  True love is found in what God did for us by sending His only Son, Jesus Christ, to earth for us. Love is all about giving.

Below is a tried and true sugar cookie recipe to share with family and friends. Decorating cookies with your children is fun and sharing the finished product brings even more joy.

Sugar Cookies

2/3 cup shortening
3/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 egg
4 teaspoons milk
2 cups sifted all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt

Thoroughly cream shortening, sugar, and vanilla.  Add egg and milk; beat till light and fluffy.  Sift together dry ingredients; blend into creamed mixture.  Cover and chill at least one hour.  On lightly floured surface, roll to 1/4 inch thickness.  Cut in desired shapes with cutters.  Bake on ungreased cookie sheet at 375 degrees about 8 to 10 minutes.  Cool slightly; remove.  Add frosting and decorate as desired. This recipe will make about 24 heart shaped cookies.

Happy Valentine’s Day to you and your family.

“Faith, hope, and love… the greatest of these is love.”

Until the next “Truth” sharing moment,

Cathy Jo Johnson

 

 

 

 

Winter Olympics: Past and Present

Daily Truth:   “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.”  Hebrews 13:8

OlympicRings_360

Sochi Olympics 2014

Did you know that the first Winter Olympics were in held in 1924 at Chamonix, France?  A lot has changed since that first game.

1.  The attendance at the games in Chamonix was 10,004 paying spectators.  Sochi has plans to sell 1.1 million tickets, according to the International Olympic Committee marketing document.  “Bloomberg Businessweek”

2.  There were 16 events in the first Winter Olympics.  Today there are 15 sports with 98 events in the Winter Olympics.

3.  In 1924 there were 258 athletes participating. This winter there are 2,871 athletes competing.

4.  Technology has come a long way since 1924.  To see a video of the first Winter Olympics click here.  “This year NBC Universal has 40 percent more capacity, including 19 broadcast/cable networks and more than 60 websites to promote the upcoming Winter Games than it had in Vancouver 2010” according to TV News Desk.

5.  According to Olympic.org, “In the opening parade of delegates [Chamonix] many athletes marched with their equipment on their shoulders (skis, hockey sticks, etc.).  Indeed, according to the rules in place at the time, the athletes had to march in their sportswear, and the skis or hockey sticks were part to their equipment.  Today, the delegations no longer wear their sportswear, but they try to outdo each other in terms of imagination to appear in all their finery.”

6. Canada won the ice hockey event by scoring 122 goals, with only 3 scored against them in that first Winter Olympics.  Beginning in 1998 a women’s ice hockey team was added to the Winter Olympic events.   Twelve teams will compete this year in the men’s tournament, eight in the women’s.

The Olympics have grown and changed in many ways.  Technology, rules, culture, and  society  have contributed to the change of the Olympics.

Celebrating the accomplishments of the athletes in this year’s Winter Olympics is fun. Watching all the countries around the world coming together in a symbol of unity is wonderful.  Every four years provides us with new faces, new rules, new venues, and new stories.

It is good to know that there is one thing that never changes and that is Jesus Christ.  While watching the Olympics this winter I challenge you to discuss some of the changes in the Olympics and then discuss how Jesus Christ never changes.  He is eternal (Hebrews 13:8), good (James 1:17), holy (Isaiah 6:3), and He is sovereign (Matthew 10:29) to  tell of just a few of His unchanging attributes.

There are teachable moments all around us.  Do we use those moments to just teach current events or do we teach for eternity?

Until the next “Truth” sharing moment,

Cathy Jo Johnson

 

 

Build Your Nest Well: Teach Children Independence and Dependence on God

Daily Truth:   “As an eagle stirs up its nest,
Hovers over its young,
Spreading out its wings, taking them up,
Carrying them on its wings…” Deuteronomy 32:11

eagle 2

We try  to keep our children safe in our “nest”.  We bandage skinned knees, give kisses to minor bumps, and provide “boo boo bunnies” to minor bruises but we must do more.  We must build trust with our children so children can then in turn trust others and God. Trust is an important part of building independence and thus dependence on God.

God teaches us (parents) in His Word so many times through nature.  By understanding nature it helps us to see the word pictures God shares with us through His Word.

Let’s take a look at the parenting qualities of the eagle so we can better understand Deuteronomy 32:11.   Did you know that 98% of the time one parent of an eagle pair remains on the nest with the eggs?   The parent with the eggs not only provides warmth but protection.  Newly hatched eaglets are soft with grayish-white down.  Their wobbly legs are too weak to support their bodies and their eyes are partially opened.  The only protection they have is what their parents provide.  The parents take turns feeding and caring for their eaglets.

The adult eagles shred pieces of meat from their prey and share with their eaglets. The female eagle gently coaxes the eaglets to take the meat from her beak while eating the leftovers herself.  We too give the best to our families.  How many times have you eaten the heel of a loaf of bread?

At three to four weeks the eaglets are covered with a secondary coat of down.  In approximately two more weeks black, juvenile feathers begin to grow.  As the secondary feathers replace the down the eaglets are ready to test their wings.  An eaglet takes its first flight some ten to thirteen weeks after hatching.  The parents encourage the eaglet to fly by gradually limiting the dependence upon them.  The parents stay close in assisting, teaching, and encouraging their eaglets.

Our job as parents is to build trust so they can trust us and the heavenly Father whom they cannot literally see.  God led me to think about this concept of trust as I was preparing for an elementary chapel time several years ago.  The acronym was as follows:

T-Time, you have to spend time with God in order to know God.  Reading God’s Word and talking to Him in prayer helps you to know Him.

R-Rust, is what happens when we do not spend time with God. (I showed a rusted car muffler to the children.)  We become ineffective to do the job God has for us when we do not spend time with God.

U-“U” can trust God.  There are over 7,000 promises in the Bible.  People may let you down, but God is Holy and always keeps His promises.

S-Savior, God gave His Son so we might have everlasting life with Him.  God provides for us in every way.

T-Trust, is developed over time, by not allowing rust (not taking care of the relationship between you and God), “U” can count on God, the Savior (Jesus Christ) was God’s only begotten Son that died for you and me.

God’s Word is what will last after children have left our “nest”.

We need to build our nest well.   Time goes quickly.  We need to cherish the moments.   Impart God’s Word and God’s love. Our help comes from the Lord.  He has given many examples and words of instruction for us through His Word.

“And those who know Your name will put their trust in You; For You, LORD, have not forsaken those who seek You.” Psalm 9:10

Until the next “Truth” sharing moment,

Cathy Jo Johnson

 

A Simplified Life Brings Rest to the Soul

Daily Truth:   “Thus says, the LORD:   ‘Stand in the ways and see, and ask for the old paths, where the good way is, And walk in it; Then you will find rest for your souls.'”

Jeremiah 6:16

Rest Area Sign.svg.med

How many times have you been traveling and look on a map or use an app to see when the next “Rest Area” is located?  Your children need a place to run off some energy while you just need to stretch and regroup for the miles ahead.  We all need times of refreshing and regrouping.  January is the month of new beginnings.  I have said to my husband that this is the Year of Jubilee.  You know, forget about those things that need to be forgotten.  Make life simpler, move on, and prepare for the future.

To simplify is my mantra this year.  For several years I have told myself if I don’t want to move it, dust it, or wash it don’t get it.  So this is the year to simplify.  ( I must admit I am taking a break from cleaning out drawers to post this blog.)

This new year’s thought all began when I met Nancy Sleeth at a Christian Writers Conference and read her book Almost Amish, one woman’s quest for a slower, simpler, more sustainable life.  It is a thought provoking book, with Scripture illustrations, that provides ideas and a plan to make life simpler and restful both physically and spiritually.

Nancy tells us, “It’s time to simplify our lives-to slow down, make faith and family the focal point, and recapture the lost art of simple living.  And what group has kept simplicity, family, and faith at the center of all they say and do better than Amish?”

Almost Amish book

“Building on the core principles of Amish life, Nancy Sleeth explains how making conscious choices to limit (and sometimes eliminate) technology’s hold on our lives and get back to the basics and help us lead calmer more focused, (restful) less harried live, resulting in stronger, deeper relationships with our friends, families, and God.”

The chapter about “Community” is very refreshing.  “According to an Amish proverb, face-to-face contact with a friend is ‘like the rainbow that is always there for you after the storm.'”  Texting and emailing are nice tools but there is nothing like actually meeting with a friend.

To simplify also gives more time and attention to the world God created.  “When Mary mistook Jesus for the gardener, it was no mistake:  Jesus is the new Adam, and the garden is God’s eternal classroom.”

C.S. Lewis advises in Mere Christianity that “Going back can sometimes be the quickest way forward.”   Going back is good yet I do enjoy electricity, grocery stores, and my iPhone.  If I do not have to go back to Laura in Little House on the Prairie but can manage to embrace some of the things taught in Almost Amish I am ready, especially when I look around at the unnecessary and unused accumulated items . Giving to others,  helping others, and freeing space and time to better serve family and God is a life pleasing to God.  Going back to clean, purge, and evaluate needs will help in going forward.

Nancy Sleeth, in her book Almost Amish,  helps us to realize by taking little steps a simpler life is attainable and sustainable. “Through the choices we make may vary, it is a journey that we can take together-and above all, with God.”

Happy New and Simpler Year!

Until the next “Truth” sharing moment,

Cathy Jo Johnson

Routine, Routine, Routine

Daily Truth: “Ponder the path of thy feet, and let all thy ways be established”  Proverbs 4:26

 

Routine is something most people thrive on. I am one of those moms that looks forward to a break from routine.  I love summer breaks because there is no set routine of activities from day to day. Christmas break is the same way.  We pretty much hibernate over Christmas break – partly because we are “go, go, go” during the school year.  In fact, I am probably more disappointed than the kids when Christmas break is over. However, this year was different.  Somehow 19 days of Christmas break was 19 days too long. Maybe it was the 33 hours of no power. Maybe it was  the extreme temperatures that forced the kids inside. Thus resulting in little bodily exercise and release from pent up energy. Maybe it was the 10 inches of snow that made it difficult to get out. Maybe it was the “I don’t know what to do” cries. Whatever it was, I was doing the happy dance when the kids went back to school last Thursday. I think we were stir crazy and quite frankly we were ready for routine again. That is until this Monday morning when the 6:00 a.m. alarm went off.  Then the thought of routine was NOT so appealing. Yet, truly there is something to be said for routine.

It is the beginning of a new year.  It is the time of year when many people make pledges to develop certain routines. Eating healthy. Exercising. Daily Bible reading. And the list goes on and on. Why do we decide to make promises at the beginning of the year to develop new routines? Maybe it’s because we have let our established eating routine get sidelined with all the sweet treats.  (Guilty as charged!) Maybe it’s because exercise became less of a priority during the holiday season due to time. Maybe it’s because we know we haven’t spent as much time in the Word as we should have this past year. Whatever the reasons, we decide to make pledges to develop new routines or improve old ones at the beginning of the year. Yet, how many of us have already failed and it is only 2 weeks into the new year.

Sigh….. Here are some thing our family is doing to help with our routines or newly pledged routines.

1.  Today, my mom and I joined a gym.  She swims.  I run.  I don’t swim.  She doesn’t run.  Yet, I think this will work for us to get into a pattern of meeting at the gym and keeping each other accountable for exercising. BTW- the water Zumba class does sound interesting.  I might just don the bathing suit and give that a whirl.

2.  Grab a friend to help keep you accountable.  I have one buddy for running.  We both had rough patches of getting it in before the holidays.  OK – rough months of getting in the running due to health and work. I have another friend that is my prayer partner and we have been for a couple of years. Proverbs 27:7 refers to friends keeping each other accountable.

3.  There’s an app for that.  Yep, there are some for exercising, Bible reading, eating, just about anything you want.  Find one you like and use it.  (mmmmm…..maybe future blog). I like the Bible Gateway app because there is an audio version for some of the translations. My mom and I use that for our devos especially for those really busy days. My husband uses a “Read-Through-The-Bible-In-A-Year” pamphlet. My daughter is using Streams in the Desert for Kids to help her establish a routine of daily Bible Reading. So, as we dive into this new year, take the time to write down a couple routines that you want to improve on or start for yourself as well as ones for your family. Then jot down ways to help you establish that routine whether it be a friend, a book, or an app. Start today developing routines that will help you become more and more the mom God wants you to be.

Tip for the week:  Homemade Granola (we make this every week)

2 c quick oats

1/3 c of maple syrup and honey combined.

2 TB canola oil

Add cinnamon, ginger, and all spice to taste.

Pinch of sea salt

You can also add coconut, dried fruit, nuts, pecans, etc.

Preheat oven to 300 degrees.  Mix all the ingredients together until well coated.  Place on a cookie sheet and cook for 40 minutes stirring every 15 minutes.

When done, pour the granola on wax paper and let it cool completely.  Place in an airtight container.

Until next week, Rebekah klink

The Amazing Power of God

Daily Truth:  “And they were all amazed at the mighty power of God”  Luke 9:43

 

Mary, Joseph, and Baby Jesus covered in snow.
Mary, Joseph, and Baby Jesus covered in snow.

It is amazing how much we rely on electrical power and how much we don’t realize it until we don’t have power. My family had that lesson brought home to us this week. Sunday afternoon, around 12:30 the lights surged on and off twice and then the power was gone. We kept hoping it would be back soon, but as the day wore on we realized that we might be sleeping near the fireplace in the living room – all seven of us. So, we started preparing for what appeared to be the inevitable –  a night without power. My hubs tried to get the generator to work so that we could at least have heat in the house.  No luck. The kids gathered sleeping bags, pillows, blankets, and stuffed animals – all the necessities for a warm night.  Pj’s were donned and candles were gathered. The kitchen became a command station of candles, lighters, batteries, flashlights, and games. About seven rounds of dominoes was played by candlelight and a rousing game of hide-and-seek in the dark was enjoyed by the kids. The funny thing was every time one of the kids went into a room inevitably we heard, “I can’t turn the lights on”. I don’t know how many times we heard during the first two hours, “Can we watch a movie or play the Wii?” Finally, they settled and realized we had to make do without all of the things that required power. We survived.  Thirty hours later the power did come on.

This is what 10 inches of snow looks like!
This is what 10 inches of snow looks like!

I will admit we did succumb to the cold and went to a friends house to thaw out and spend the night.  When your house gets down to 41 degrees and you have four layers of clothes on, two sets of gloves, hand warmers, and you can see your breath in the house – it’s time to find a warmer accommodations. But a lesson was learned.  It was amazing to the kids how much we depend on power. The irony is that about a week earlier my oldest made the comment that we could get by without electrical power and that we don’t depend on it that much. She has since changed her mind. A thought occurred to me. We have an unlimited source of power as Christians – our all powerful God.  Yet, how often do we tap into that source of power. In Luke 9:37-45, a father comes to Jesus with a demon possessed child and cries that even the disciples couldn’t cast out the demon. The irony, Jesus had just given the disciples the power to cast out demons (Luke 9:1). Jesus turns to them and calls them “faithless”.  In other words, the disciples had power given to them by Jesus and yet didn’t tap into it. Jesus then turns and cast out the demon, heals the boy, and restores him to his father. ” And they (all that saw the miracle) were all amazed at the mighty power of God” (Luke 9:41). These same people would later be responsible for Jesus death. Lest we fault the disciples, how many times do we – I – neglect to seek Jesus power.  If Jesus has the power over demons, doesn’t He have the power to take care of our needs.

Idea for the week:  What to do with all those Christmas cards?

We gather all the Christmas cards and pictures that we receive and put them in a basket.  Each night we take the card in the front of the basket, pray for that family, and stick their card in the back of the basket.  This continues all year.  It is fun to pray for these families throughout the year.

  Have a powerful week, Rebekah klink