Liberty and Flag Day, What’s it all About?

Daily Truth:  Jesus said, “The Spirit of the LORD is upon Me, Because He has anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; He sent me to heal the broken hearted, To proclaim liberty to the captives And recovery of sight the blind, To set at liberty to those who are oppressed.”

Luke 4:18


United States FlagFlag Day is about celebrating liberty and remembrance.   Liberty is defined as” freedom from control, interference or physical restraint”. Jesus spoke of liberty.  He came to “make you free” (John 8:32).

Flag Day represents a day in which we honor our country by honoring our country’s flag.  The American Flag symbolizes liberty to all.

  • How did Flag Day begin?  The flag of the United States of America was born out of a Revolution in 1977.  It has remained the same except the addition of a star for each state added to the United States.
  • What do the colors and symbols represent? The  50 stars represent the states of the United States.  The 13 stripes represent the 13 original colonies.  The red is said to represent valor, the white to represent liberty, and the blue to represent justice and loyalty.
  •  Who made the first American flag?  Reportedly, Betsy Ross sewed the first flag by hand in 1776.
  • Why June 14?  That was the day in 1877 the the adoption of the American flag took place by the Second Continental Constitution.   President Woodrow Wilson made a proclamation in 1916 that made June 14 Flag Day.  Flag Day is not a federal or state holiday except in the state of Pennsylvania.
  • What are the American Flag’s rules and regulations?  Visit US for details. 

The Flag Goes By

Hats off!
Along the street there comes
A blare of bugles, a ruffle of drums,
A flash of color beneath the sky:
Hats off!
The flag is passing by!

Blue and crimson and white it shines,
Over the steel-tipped, ordered lines.
Hats off!
The colors before us fly;
But more than the flag is passing by:

Sea-fights and land-fights, grim and great,
Fought to make and to save the State;
Weary marches and sinking ships;
Cheers of victory on dying lips;

Days of plenty and years of peace;
March of a strong land’s swift increase;
Equal justice, right and law,
Stately honor and reverend awe;

Sign of a nation, great and strong
To ward her people from foreign wrong;
Pride and glory and honor, – all
Live in the colors to stand or fall.

Hats off!
Along the street there comes
A blare of bugles, a ruffle of drums;
And loyal hearts are beating high:
Hats off!
The flag is passing by!

~ Henry Holcomb Bennett

Happy Flag Day to you!

Until the next “Truth” telling moment,

Cathy Jo Johnson

Why, When and Where to Pray: The Bible Tells Us and Jesus Shows Us

Daily Truth: Now in the morning, having risen a long while before daylight, He went out and departed  into a solitary place, and there He prayed.    Mark 1:35


Early in the morning is sometimes the only time when all is quiet and time to pray is uninterrupted.  In order to have the time and energy to get up early takes planning the night before.  With little ones it is more difficult to plan as their needs sometimes dictate the schedule.  Spending time with God is the most important thing you will do and once the day begins it is very difficult to stop, pause and reflect once in motion. Planning with flexibility is what a mom is about right?  So plan carefully with time for prayer as a priority.

The verb “pray” is found 146 times in the Bible.  We are taught how to pray in Matthew 6:13-19 when Jesus teaches the disciples how to pray by teaching them the Lord’s Prayer.

The following is a list of times, places, and reasons to pray from the Bible.

1.   Paul tells us to “pray without ceasing” in 1 Thessalonians 5:17.  Think about all the  questions you answer or how many times you are giving directions to your children throughout the day.  That is how much time we are to communicate with God.  Prayer is talking to God.  God wants a relationship with us. He speaks through His Word the Bible and communicates through prayer.  How easy is that?  No iPhone, Droid, Bluetooth, etc. required!

2.   In Mark 1:35 we are told that Jesus prayed in the morning before all the activities of he day.  Jesus is our example in all things.  Planning in the evening to go to bed at a specific time will help establish a regular wake up time.

3.  In Matthew 6:6 we are shown to pray in solitude.  And yes that can mean behind a bathroom door but better elsewhere.  By having a specific time and place each day your prayer time will be more meaningful and special.  When you are a mother of little ones or a mother of a child with special needs, early morning is the only time that you can call your own.  God wants to spend time with just you.  We need the time with God.

4.   Matthew 5:44 we are to pray for our enemies. When we focus on the needs of others rather than ourselves it places us in a place of humbleness.  God is ultimately in control.  By praying for our enemies we take ourselves out and let God work.  It keeps our focus in line with Christ.  Jesus Christ came so we might have life, and what an abundant life we have!

5. Sometimes we are overcome with such grief that we cannot think of any words to articulate.  That is when Romans 8:26 gives us hope.  The Holy Spirit will help us in our weaknesses when we do not know what to pray.

6.  In Ephesians 6:13-18 we are told to put on the full armor of God and to cover it in prayer. Learn about the armor of God, place it on yourself and dress your children in it as well.  Then as written in Ephesians 6:18 cover it all in prayer.

The Bible tells us how, when, where, and why to pray.  When we pray we are giving God glory, confessing our sins, showing our thankfulness, and making requests.  It is a privilege that we are able to talk to God at any time and any place.

There are many books and devotionals that teach us about prayer.  Please check out my Pinterest board on “Prayer” at Truths for Tots.

“Bow, stubborn knees!” William Shakespeare

“Prayer is simply a two-way conversation between you and God.” Billy Graham

“The prayer offered to God in the morning during your quiet time is the key that unlocks the door of the day.  Any athlete knows that it is the start that ensures a good finish.” Adrian Rogers

 When and where do you pray?

Until the next “Truth” telling moment,

Cathy Jo Johnson

How to Help Children Understand the Boston Tragedy through God’s Truths – Truths for Tots

Daily Truth: “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor are your ways My ways,” says the Lord.  “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, So are my ways higher than your ways, And my thoughts than your thoughts.” Isaiah 55:8-9


I am not packaging the Boston Tragedy into a neat and tidy Christian package with expected answers.  This is Christianity at it’s rawest…when we don’t know the right answers and we are wondering the same things as our children.  Yet, we can put our confidence in a God who cares and the Truth of His Word..

We all saw the pictures: the smoke, the chaos, the pain, the sorrow, the victims, and the heroes.

We heard the reports:  the cries, the shock, and the unbelievable.

Boston has brought up many interesting conversations with all of my children and with many of my friends.

We sat back and wondered, “What is happening in our world that even an event such as the Boston Marathon would be a bomb sight?”  What should have been a time a rejoicing over such elite accomplishments turned into a time of utter horror.

We all held our children a little closer that night and the days and nights afterwards.

Although we did our best to shield our children from the horrors of Boston, they still picked up on it.

So, how do we deal with these events and our children?  “Oh, my child is only 2 or 3.  They don’t know what happened?” Really?  Don’t you think they can sense the fear and hear our anxious hushed whispers and sense that something isn’t right. How do we answer their questions honestly,  appropriately, and based on God’s Truth.

1.  Remind your children that all are born sinners (Rom. 5:12)  and we all have sinned (Rom. 3:23).  Without Jesus we are capable of doing horrible things.

2. Remind your children that God is not surprised by what happens.  He knew all along that events at Boston were going to occur. (Ps. 139:15-16)

So, why did God allow it to happen?

3. Tell your children we don’t know all the “why’s” about God.  But one thing we are certain of is that God’s ways are so much higher than our ways (Is. 55:8-9) and His way is always best (Ps. 18:30)

4.  Remind your children that God knows are sorrows and our fears (Heb. 4:15, Ps. 56:8)

5.  Pray with your children for their safety and for the safety of those around them (Mt. 19:14, Ps. 91:11)

Am I a little nervous about running the Indianapolis mini?  Honestly, yes.  However, I cannot let the events of Boston dictate how I live.  Yet, I can use the events of Boston to teach my children many valuable lessons.  Most certainly of all, that my God is in control and my life is in His hands.

I was in a store with my tots the Tuesday afterwards and before I could stop them, they were glued to a TV that was replaying the bombing at Boston.  Micah, my 5 year old said,”Mom, why was there a bomb at the marathon?”

“I don’t know, honey.”

“Is there going to be a bomb at your marathon?”

My heart stopped.  This little 5 year old put it together that people were running a race and there was a bomb and my mom is going to be running a race soon. Is there going to be a bomb?

I got down on my knees in front of him, held his little hands, and said,” Micah, we need to pray for those families that got hurt and pray for mommy and all her friends that God will keep us safe in our race.”

Right there, in the middle of the store, a 5 year old petitioned our Heavenly Father for the safety of his mom and her friends.


Until next Monday and hopefully we will discuss “Dress Rehearsal”,



Rest for the Weary in a Busy Life

Daily Truth:  But those who wait on the Lord Shall renew their strength; They shall mount up with wings like eagles, They shall run and not be weary, They shall walk and not faint.  Isaiah 40:31

I realize that I promised that I would write about “Dress Rehearsal.”  But alas, sometimes things happen in our lives that are completely out of our control and definitely NOT in our calendar.  That pretty much sums up the past 9 days.

It all started when the hubs came home a week ago terribly sick.  Now let me just preface this by saying my husband is NOT one of those “husband turn whimp,” wanting to rest, when he gets sick.  Also, my husband’s job is such that he can go to work and not have to interact with too many people.  Off to work he went Friday morning despite the protest from the family and spending part of the night sick. When he came home Friday night from work, walked into the house, and rested on the couch without even taking his winter coat or hat off I knew we were in trouble. And that is the way he stayed until Saturday morning.

It was a down hill battle from there.  Literally every 36 hours someone else fell prey to the flu this week.  I cleaned the bathrooms and did laundry every day.  (The house now permanently smells of Lysol).  I fought it until the commander of her troops could fight it no longer and finally I succumbed last night.

Next week, I will discuss the importance of “Dress Rehearsal” with our children.  But for now, this weary and cranky mother is going to drink some tea, take a hot bath, rest and enjoy a few minutes of sheer utter silence (which believe me is a rarity in this house) before the troops come home from church.

Until next week ladies,


rest for the weary

The Work of His Hand: We Are Just the Pottery

Daily Truth:  But now, O LORD, you are the Father; we are the clay, and you are the potter; we are all the work of your hand.
Isaiah 64:8

9757937What an incredible picture! God is our Creator and the potter. We are his vessels or pottery.  He shaped and molded us.

When a child understands the way in which pottery is made there is a better understanding about the verses in the Bible which use the words clay and potter. The clay begins as just a lump of matter (which is made up of elements known as silicates along with water, oxygen, and trace minerals) on the potter’s wheel. The clay is carefully molded by the potter’s hands into a masterpiece.

I find it interesting that water must be added to the clay to aid in the transformation. Without water we are unable to live. Water is cleansing too. In John 4:10 Jesus is the living water. In John 5:12 “He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life.” Just as clay needs water to be molded we too need “living water” to be cleansed and transformed.

A valuable experience that would lead to a clearer understanding of the clay and potter relationship is to have your child make their own piece of pottery or to plan a visit in which he or she can watch pottery being made. The  following video shows how a potter makes pottery. (click here to watch video)

It is interesting in the video when the potter blows into the vessel.  The breath from the potter gives shape and form to the clay.  It reminds me of the verse in Genesis 2:7 “then the LORD God formed the man of dust from the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and then the man became a living creature.”

Job 33:6 “Truly I am as your spokesman before God; I also have been formed out of clay.”

God’s Word is truly amazing.  God gives us word pictures to aid in our understanding of His Word.

Until the next “Truth” sharing moment,

Cathy Jo Johnson


What’s Your Plumb Line?

Daily Truth: “I will make justice a measuring line and righteousness a plumb line.”
Isaiah 28:17
What is a plumb line? I first found out when hanging wall paper  many years ago.
A friend was helping me hang wallpaper. She took off her wedding ring and tied  a string to the ring to make a plumb line. She said that it would help us to hang the the wallpaper straight as our vision and the walls could deceive  us.A plumb line is a simple yet valuable tool to determine whether something is vertically straight. From the Latin word “plumbum”, meaning “lead”, a plumb line is a line with a weight attached to the bottom of the line. The force of gravity causes the the string to trace a straight, vertical line. Plumbers, masons, carpenters, surveyors, and landscapers all use this tool.This simple tool has been used in construction since ancient times. Jesus probably used a plumb line as a carpenter tool. References in the Bible are usually that of the Lord’s plumb line. This is in reference to how righteously people stand, or how upright their stand of God.Many of the prophets in the Old Testament warned the people about their crooked ways. Amos writes his conversation with the Lord about the people living
their own ways and not in the ways of the Lord in Amos 7:7-8.
“This is what the he showed me: The Lord was standing by a wall that had been built true to plumb,
with a plumb line in his hand. And the Lord asked me, “What do you see Amos?” “A plumb line,” I replied. Then the Lord said, “Look, I am setting a plumb line among my people Israel; I will spare them no longer.”
By helping children understand the word plumb line they will better understand what God’s criterion is for righteousness.
Activity to help with understanding plumb line:
Attach a paper to an easel or chalkboard. Have the child make lines from
top to bottom on a piece of paper. Then make a simple plumb line tool.
Demonstrate with the plumb line how the lines drawn by the child appeared to be
straight yet when compared to the plumb line they were crooked.Our thoughts of righteousness differ from those of God’s thoughts on righteousness.

The word “righteousness” occurs 277 times in the ESV.  This word would be a good word study as an extension of the previous object lesson of the word plumb line.

If the verses mentioned earlier seem too overwhelming to incorporate in a study I  suggest the following verses:

1 Samuel 26:23 “The LORD rewards every man according to his righteousness and his
faithfulness, for the LORD gave you into my hand today, and I would not put out
my hand against the LORD’s anointed.”

2 Titus 3:16 “All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, or reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness.”

Until the next truth sharing moment,

Cathy Jo Johnson