Father’s Hands: A Picture of Strength

Daily Truth:  “My Father, Who has given them to Me, is greater and mightier than all [else]; and no one is able to snatch [them] out of the Father’s hand.”  John 10:29
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My father’s hands holding my newborn nephew.

 

This week, with Father’s Day approaching, I have been contemplating a father’s hands.

You see, a person’s hands can tell so much about them.

A father’s hands can show and teach so many character qualities that we would want to see in our children.

A father’s hands can shape and mold.

So, Father’s Day holds mixed emotions for our family.

We of course celebrate all the wonderful things about my hubs and what an outstanding father he is to the kids.

Yet, I can’t help but be overcome with the fact that all though I can remember all the qualities that made my dad a wonderful father, I can’t share those with him.

The picture above is one of my favorite pics of my dad.  You don’t see his face, but the picture depicts all that he was.  It’s all in my father’s hands.

What do a father’s hands represent?

A father’s hands represents kindness.  They show that even though evil things happen, his hands will show us the kindness we need to see.

A father’s hands represent gentleness.  Who else’s hands can be so full of strength yet, can hold a newborn with utmost care.

A father’s hands represent love.  It warms my heart to see my hubs holding the hands of my kids.

A father’s hands represent protection.  They remind us that he will do everything in his power to protect us.

A father’s hands represents strength.  They show us that they will pull us up when we need help, but will let us go when it is time.

A father’s hands represent sacrifice.  They remind us of the hours that are put into providing for his family.

A father’s hands represent determination.  They show us that many things can be accomplished with hard work and a “never-give-up” attitude.

A father’s hands represent patience.  I am reminded of this everytime my husband allows the boys to “help” him with jobs around the house.

Our Heavenly Father’s hands bring such vivid pictures to mind.

I am reminded of the story in John of Thomas.

Remember, he was not with the other disciples that saw Christ after His resurrection.  Can you imagine the excitement and breathless wonder of the disciples as they tell Thomas that Christ is indeed risen like He said.

Then Thomas’ response is something like a “party pooper”.  “Yeah, well, except I see the nail prints in His hands and can put my hand in His side, I cannot believe a word you say.”

Nothing like putting a damper on a good mood.

Then 8 days later, the disciples are once again gathered together in a room with the door shut and the Lord miraculously walks into the room.

Thomas doesn’t believe even then it is Christ until Christ says to Thomas to touch the nail prints of His hands and thrust his in hand into Jesus’ side.

That’s when Thomas’ faith is restored.

In John 10, Jesus is talking to the Jews because they want proof that He is the promised Messiah.

Jesus explains to them that all the miracles He is doing is proof that He is the Messiah, yet they don’t believe because they are not His sheep.  In other words, they didn’t have a personal belief that He was the Messiah.

Jesus makes the statement that once we are His no one – not man or the powers of Satan – could pluck those who believe out of His Father’s Hands.

Our Heavenly Father’s hands show us His amazing love, His power over death, Hell, and Satan, His protection, and His gentleness.

As we come to Father’s Day, remember the lessons that can be taught our children by our Father’s hands.

Until next week,

Rebekah Klink

klink

 

 

 

 

Ten Promises for Mothers

Daily Truth:   “For all the promises of God in Him are Yes, and in Him Amen, to the glory of God through us.”

 2 Corinthians 1:20

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Mother’s have a huge job.  We try to meet the needs of everyone in our family.  When children are preschoolers the job requires energy, consistency, and love.  When children are elementary age the job requires the previous skills and the added skills of encouragement and party planner.  As children grow into adolescence mothers need all the previous skills plus the needed skills of master calendar and driver coordinator.

How good to know that God is with us every step of the way. God wants our families to not just succeed but to flourish.  That is not to say that every step will be easy, but God walks with us through all the ups and downs of child rearing.  He gives us His promises. It is good to know that when things get tough or when things are going well God is encouraging and providing wisdom for us through His Word.

Ten Promises from God’s Word for Mothers

  1. Joy:  “This is the day that the LORD has made; we will rejoice and be glad in it.”  Psalm 118:24
  2. Strength:  “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”  Philippians 4:13
  3. Never give up:  “Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering; for He who promised is faithful.” Hebrews 10:23
  4. Protection:  “I am the good shepherd.  The good shepherd gives His life for the sheep.”  John 10:11
  5. Sadness:  “For our light affliction, which is but for a moment is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory, while we do not look at things which are seen,but at the things which are not seen.  For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal.” 2 Corinthians 4:17-18
  6. Trust:  “For You  will light my lamp; The LORD my God will enlighten my darkness.” Psalm 18:28
  7. Peace:  “The LORD is my light and salvation;  Whom shall I fear?  The LORD is the strength of my life; The LORD is the strength of my life; Of whom shall I be afraid?”  Psalm 27:1
  8. Stress:  “Be anxious for nothing but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”  Philippians 4:6
  9. Faith:  “Have I not commanded you be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid nor dismayed, for the LORD God is with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9
  10. Words:  “Hold fast the pattern of sound words which you have heard from me, in faith  and love which are in Christ Jesus.” 2 Timothy 1:13

How good it is that God provides promises that mothers can hold on to as we raise our children.

Wishing you a very Happy Mother’s Day!

Until the next “Truth” sharing moment,

Cathy Jo Johnson

 

 

It Is Finished: Jesus’ Last Words on the Cross

Daily Truth:   “It is finished!” And bowing His head, He gave  up His spirit. John 19:30

Silhouettes of Three Crosses

“It is finished!”  What powerful last words spoken by Jesus on the cross.   He had completed all that was asked of Him by God the Father.

Do we follow what God asks of us?  At the end of our lives we want to hear, “Well done thou good and faithful servant.”  We want to be great  wives, moms, and grandmothers.  Yet, how much time to spend on daily physical chores and neglect taking care of our own daily spiritual growth which affects our relationships to those we love most on this earth?

Maybe we should think about each day when it is finished and reflect on the questions like: What did I do for eternity today?,  What did I do to point my child or grandchild toward Christ?Did I spend time reading God’s Word today? Did I ask God for wisdom in situations that arose today?

As the mother of 3 children within 27 months I remember those days when I thought I was doing good to get meals on the table (well highchair, table, and bouncy chair as I tapped that with my foot while feeding the child in the highchair), clean clothes and house, toys somewhat put away, three baths, and then bedtime stories as my head began to nod.

But then God got my attention in a dramatic way and I realized that the most important thing I could do was to point my children to Christ.  It wasn’t about a clean house, playgroups, great meals, or volunteer  work in my community or church.  The most important thing I was to do was tell our children about Christ and to show them how much He loved them.  At the time I thought I was a Christian but I then realized that I knew Christ but I did not have a personal relationship with Him. What a day that was when I asked Jesus to be my Savior and to take my will and to make it His own.  From that time on my parenting became much more intentional about teaching Christ.

Times were still crazy at our home with three car seats, two cribs, a double stroller with one child holding on to the side,  grocery shopping  with two carts (one for children and one for food) and always a Cheerio on the floor.  But, God slowed down my day so that I could spend time learning and then teaching about God and His love for them.  Children learn at such an early age.  Remember Moses was allowed to stay with his mother until he was finished nursing.  My how much she must have taught him before he went to live full time in the king’s court.

Times were busy and yes chaotic back then but God is faithful and always provides wisdom and encouragement when  we ask.   I really feel like I grew up spiritually with my children as I put my trust in Christ rather than in myself.

Maybe you’re thinking, where was your husband to spiritually lead you?  My husband and I grew up in the same church.  He had accepted Christ as a youth at a Child Evangelism Fellowship booth at our county fair but no discipleship was available until later in life. My husband became a wonderful spiritual leader to me (now that I was on the same page) and our children.  I am very thankful that God allowed me to personally need Him so I would find Him.  I was grateful then too as our children were all below the age of three so my husband and I could spend the rest of their lives teaching them about Jesus Christ.

Our life is not finished until God says that it is finished.  May we all learn God’s Word and ways and impart it to the next generation.

As we reflect today on this weekend and what Jesus Christ did for us on the cross may we see the great love and compassion that He showed us.  May we all share that love with the children God has placed in our lives. May we accomplish all that Jesus asks us to do and have a willing spirit to follow wherever God may lead us.  May we finish well.

Mark 10:27 “But Jesus looked at them and said, ‘With men it is impossible, but not with God; for with God all things are possible.'”

Philippians 4:13 “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”

Until the next “Truth” sharing moment,

Cathy Jo Johnson

He is Risen! – Easter Story Cookies

Daily Truth:  “He is not here; He has risen, as He said [He would do]. Come, see the place where He lay.”  Matthew 28:6

 

He is risen!

The cry of Easter is heard throughout the World.

He is risen!

That phrase separates Christianity from all other religions.

My kids have been singing, “Christ the Lord is risen today”  all week.

So, they don’t understand all the words.  “Dark domain” was asked about.  But they get the main thrust of the song – Christ is risen from the grave and He is in Heaven preparing a place for us.

Easter Sunday is the most important holiday on the calendar.  Yet,  the cry, “He is Risen” is barely heard above the din of baskets full of candy, bunnies, and colored eggs.

So, how can we help our kiddos understand the real reason for Easter?

Every year, I have made Easter Story Cookies with my kids.  I considered skipping it this year until my youngest asked me if we were going to make those “empty tomb” cookies this year.

Here is the recipe.  It is not original with me.

1 c whole pecans                                                              zip-lock plastic bag

1 tsp. vinegar                                                                     wooden spoon

3 egg whites (room temperature)                                 tape (optional)

pinch of salt                                                                       Bible

1 c sugar                                                                            Cookie sheet covered in wax paper

1.  Preheat oven to 300 degrees.

2.  Place pecans in plastic bag.  Allow your child to beat them with a wooden spoon.  Explain that Jesus was beaten by the Roman soldiers. (John 19:1-3)

3.  Let your child smell the vinegar.  Put 1 tsp into a mixing bowl.  Explain that Jesus was given vinegar to drink while He was on the cross. (John 19:28-30)

4.  Add egg whites.  Eggs represent life.  Explain that Jesus gave His life for our sins. (John 10:10-11)

5.  Sprinkle a little salt on your child’s hand.  Let them taste it.  Sprinkle some salt into the bowl.  Explain that this represents the disciples tears. (Luke 23:26-28)

6.  Add one cup of sugar.  Explain that the fact that Jesus died because He loves us is the sweet part of the story. (Psalms 34:8  and John 3:16)

7.  Beat the ingredients with a mixer on high speed for 12-15 minutes until stiff peaks are formed.  Explain that the color white represents our hearts when Jesus cleanses them from sin. (Isaiah 1:18  and  John 3:1-3)

8.  Fold in pecans. Drop by teaspoons onto cookie sheet.  Explain that each mound represents Jesus’ tomb. (Matthew 27:57-60)

9.  Put the cookie sheet in the oven, close the door, and turn the oven off.  Explain that Jesus’ tomb was sealed. (Matthew 27:65-66)

10.  Tell your child it’s time for bed.  Explain that the disciples were sad when the disciples left Jesus’ body in the tomb. (John 16:20 -22)

On Easter Morning:

Open the oven and give each child a cookie.  When they bite the cookie it will be hollow.  Explain the disciples were amazed that Jesus’ tomb was empty.  He is risen!!    (Matthew 28:1-9)

My kiddos love making these.  It is a fun way to explain the Easter story to your little ones.

Have a wonderful Easter.  He is Risen!!!!

Rebekah

klink

Let the Children Come

Daily Truth:   “But Jesus said, ‘Let the little children come to Me, and do not forbid them; for of such is the kingdom of heaven.'”  Matthew 19:14

 

Jesus views us as children.  “For such is the kingdom of heaven” means that heaven is

Jesus and childrenfor all of God’s children who have come to Him while on earth.

 

One day several years ago, my husband and I were so happy for one of our children as they were accomplishing a goal that they had sought for a long time.  In that very day we also received a call about one of our other children’s huge disappointment. We were so happy for one child yet so very saddened for our other child.

As I thought about the circumstances over that weekend I felt as though I had maybe an inkling of how God feels when He looks at us. He sees all His children at one time.  What great joy He has looking  at some of his children yet what grief He has looking at His other children. The range of emotions is difficult for a mother but as I cried out to God, He calmed my heart and allowed me to feel His love in a new way.  No matter the circumstance He loves us!  A mother’s love for her children is similar in that love is a constant factor no matter what is changing in the world or what our children are doing.

When I read the words “Let the children come unto me” I know that God is talking to me as well as my children.  Those words bring comfort to me and encouragement that I need to share with my children.

This weekend as we celebrate Palm Sunday, Jesus’ joyful entrance into Jerusalem, let us remember the joy and yet the grief God must have had as His only Son rode that donkey as everyone shouted, “Hosanna”.

God’s love is great. God’s forgiveness is great.  God’s mercy is great.  God’s grace is great.

Have your children wave palm branches this Sunday and pretend that Jesus;  this one who  made the blind to see, the lame to walk, dead to rise and spoke of God and the Scriptures like no other coming down the road to your home town. Help them experience the great joy the Jewish children and parents must have felt as Jesus rode by them as He came into Jerusalem.

“Let the children come unto Me”.

Let us share the love of Jesus to the children God has entrusted to our care.  Let us share in the joy of that  wonderful entrance into Jerusalem.

Until the next “Truth” sharing moment,

Cathy Jo Johnson

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

Love: Ideas For Valentine’s Day

Daily Truth:  “Yeah, I have loved thee with an everlasting love.”  Jeremiah 31:3

Love is in the air.  Valentine’s Day is just around the corner.

Remember Valentine’s Day B.C. (before children)?  It was all about you and your true love.

And then along came children.

Now that we have four delightful children, Valentine’s Day has become more about the family than just about my hubs and I.

Really, many reasons have factored into that.  Babysitter’s are at a premium.  The restaurants we like to go to only serve a “Valentine’s Meal” (way over priced) or have been booked for awhile.

We opt to go out another night instead.

Don’t get me wrong – my true love knows that roses are still a must on Valentine’s Day even though we spend it with the kiddos.

So, here are some ideas on how to make Valentine’s Day fun for you, your true love, and your little true loves.

1.  Do a themed Valentine’s meal.  This year the kids really want to see the sequel to a certain spaghetti movie.  I succumbed and got the DVD.  Dinner will be none other than a spaghetti dinner.  Dessert will be cupcakes from our local cupcake store (mile high frosting fits with the theme).  Then we will cuddle up on the couch and watch the movie.

Pick a theme your kiddos love and run with it.  It always makes the meal go much easier too.

2.  This idea I got from my son’s preschool teacher.  Help your kiddos make heart shaped mailboxes out of paper plates.  You and your hubs could make one too.  Then have everyone write love notes and put them in the mailboxes.  You could also use decorated brown paper bags.

 

3.  Make Valentine’s by using conversation candies.  You can do this one of two ways.  For the little guys, have them glue on the hearts with a glue stick onto construction paper.  You could make a Valentine for your little love by using the words on the hearts.  Sort of like a Valentine’s Mad Lib.

4.  Make Valentine’s by using the kiddos hand prints.  This is one that grandparents would love and could be kept.  Cut out a heart out of construction paper large enough for your child’s hand.  Get red and white washable paint.  Paint one hand red and the other white.  Gently place your child’s hand on the paper.  Nothing says “Love” like a child’s hand print.

5.  Make a Valentine center piece.  My friend came up with this idea for a Valentine’s Day class party. Get a glass jar, fill it part full with conversation hearts, and stick in some heart flower fillers.  Makes a great centerpiece and it’s edible.  You can use the conversation hearts as prizes.  You can make the heart shaped flower fillers by using straws and taping the hearts onto the straws.  The hearts could be made by your little kiddos.

6.  Have a pizza night.  Make the dough into a heart shape.  Have the kids help “decorate” the pizza.  Enjoy a love filled dinner.

There are just a plethora of ideas out there to help you with Valentine’s Day.

Valentine’s Day is a good time to remind our children and ourselves who demonstrated the ultimate show of love for us – Jesus Christ.  You can do this by using hearts.

Cut out a red, white, and black heart.

The black heart represents our sin.  It is our sin that causes us not to be able to go to Heaven or to love like God loves. Romans 6:23

The red heart represents the blood of Jesus.  It is only through the shedding of HIs blood that we can have forgiveness of sin. Hebrews 9:22, John 3:16

The white heart represents what God does for us when we ask Him to forgive us of our sins.  He washes our hearts white as snow. Isaiah 1:18

Valentine’s Day is a good time for us mom’s to reflect on what love really is.  I Corinthians 13 gives a checklist for us.

1.  Do I speak with love or am I sounding brass?

2. Is my faith filled and demonstrates love?

3.  So my works show love to others?

4.  Am I patient?

5.  Am I kind?

6.  Am I glad for other’s when they receive blessings?

7.  Am I humble?

8.  Do I behave myself wisely?

9.  Do I strive to make others look good without receiving any glory?

10.  Do I get angry easily?

11.  Do I look for the good in others?

12.  Do I rejoice in truth?

13.  Do I bear all things God gives with love?

14.  Do I believe all things in His Word?

15.  Do I hope in all His promises?

16.  Do I endure all God sends my way?

That’s a LONG and CONVICTING checklist.  Yet, all those things shows God’s love to others.

Do we show God’s love to our families?

Until next week,

Rebekah

klink

The Stealth Mom: Ideas for Achieving Good Behavior

Daily Truth: “Surely the churning of milk bringeth forth butter.”  Proverbs 30:33

 

Dad is home and all is right in the world!
Dad is home and all is right in the world!

This past week I had to “churn the butter” a little bit more than usual to help the kids achieve good behavior.

You see, Dan was on a business trip.

Whenever Dan goes on a business trip, I always brace myself for a long week of single parenting!  Inevitably, something happens within the first 48 hours that Dan just shakes his head and says, “Why am I not surprised?”

Never mind I don’t sleep well at all when Dan is gone. Dan left on a Sunday afternoon. I knew that this could be a humdinger of a week when Sunday morning at breakfast the kids started crying that they were going to miss dad and he was still here!

My youngest even went into Sunday School all mopey and told his teacher, “You know why I am so sad, because my dad is leaving on a trip all week.”

My kids thrive on surprises.  I thrive on good behavior from the kids which makes life more enjoyable for all.

So, I had to concoct a plan that would cause the kids to desire to have good behavior thus allowing me to reward that good behavior. (Hence, Proverbs 30:33)

Here is what I came up with. Dan was gone for five LONG days.  I numbered five 3×5 cards 1-5 and put holes in the top of each.  On the back of the cards I put a different fun activity for each day.

photo 2 (10)

My kids also like to sleep in my bed with me while Dan is gone.  (This equals very poor sleeping for mom!) However, desperate times call for desperate measures.

So, on the back of each card I also wrote a child’s name.  I didn’t  go in order by age but all random.

One day there was no name and that meant that night mom was guaranteed a restful night (or at least a night with no little appendages on my head or in my back).

In order for each child to participate in the fun activity, they had to have beyond good behavior for that day. If your name was on the back of the card to sleep in mommy’s bed, that child’s had to have light years beyond good behavior.

At lunch, I explained the game plan for the week, told them what I expected as good behavior, and set my plan into motion.

Here is what we did.

Sunday night:  The kids love to go to a particular restaurant after church and get pizza.  This is a rare treat!  Thus, it made the cut for the first night of surprises.

Thankfully, they all made the grade (I really didn’t want to cook that night anyway) and one of my kiddos was the lucky recipient of Pj’s with mom.

Monday night:  Well, Monday was a little more dramatic of a day.  I had to get a foot x-ray (all’s fine), another child had to go to the dentist and get his tooth pulled (laughing gas and a 6 year old boy don’t mix very well), and we discovered an unexpected little visitor in our house.

Green eggs and ham.
Green eggs and ham.

That night went much better.  The kids love grandma doing “Green Eggs, and Ham” with them.  So, guess what we had for dinner?  Love eggs, green eggs not so much.  However, the kids had a ball making them with grandma and we had no dinner ummm…. issues (shall we say) that night.

Making green eggs and ham.
Making green eggs and ham.

Another child made the cut of Pj’s with mom.

Tuesday night:  Movies are usually reserved for Friday night Family night at our house.  Like I said earlier, desperate times call for desperate measures.

To insure no dinner time issues, I reminded them that we still had a surprise coming.

Score for mom.

Popcorn and a movie was greeted with ecstatic cheers, bean bags were gathered, and children nestled down for a fun night.

Mom slept by herself.  BLISS!

Wednesday night:  Our church does Wednesday night dinners for those who purchase a ticket.  I figured tacos was a relatively good choice (health wise and good behavior wise). Taco night at church made the cut.

Another child made the Pj’s with mom cut.

Thursday night:  I did backwards night with them.  Basically, the table was set backwards with name cards made with the kids names spelled backwards.  Dinner was served backwards – dessert to main course. (Don’t worry – dessert was a tablespoon of ice cream.)

 

Backwards night.
Backwards night.

Since, they didn’t know what was going to be next, the kids were amazing during dinner. I ended with making cone head sundaes for the kids (upside down sundaes).

Cone head sundae.
Cone head sundae.

Friday!!!!! One of my kids had a birthday and all were excited because that night dad was coming home!!!

I think the opening picture says it all.

Overall, a great week.  Good behavior was at a premium, fighting was at a minimum, and fun was had by all.

Just may have to do this again.  Only this time, dad does it with us!

Until next week,

Rebekah

klink

 

 

Christmas Advent Devotional: How Excellent is Your Name O LORD

Daily Truth:   “O LORD, our Lord,  how excellent is Your name in all the earth!”

 Psalm 8:9

Names are important to us and to God.  When we know someone we use their name when talking with them.  When we learn God’s Hebrew names we learn more about Him.  Each name reveals a character quality of God.

Advent Cover

“Wise men still seek Him.”

I have created a family “Christmas Advent Devotional”.  Each day a new name of God is learned. A chain link craft adds enjoyment and anticipation to this study.

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Day 1 of Christmas  Advent Devotion:  Yahweh (LORD) yah-WEH

This name of God by Jewish tradition was too Holy to be said aloud.   It was said as YHWH without the vowels.  YHWH is referred to as the Tetragrammaton (which means “four letters”).  YHWH comes from the four Hebrew letters:  Yud, Hay, Vav, Hay.  The modern spelling is Yahweh and now spoken by Jewish people as Jehovah.

 In the Old Testament, the name Yahweh, is the most frequently used name of God.  It is found over 6,000 times. The first time it is written is in Genesis 2:4 where it is written as Yahweh Elohim  (yah-WEH e-lo-HEEM).  This name of God as you will see can be written as Yahweh or a long side another name of God. When written with another name of God a new character quality of God is revealed.

Read Genesis 7:1-3

“Yahweh said to Noah, ‘Go into the ship with your whole family because I have seen that you alone are righteous among the people of today.   Take with you seven pairs of every kind of clean and one pair of every kind of unclean animal.  Also, take seven pairs of every kind of bird to preserve animal life all over the earth after the flood.’ ”

Yahweh is LORD (all capital letters) over all.  Noah knew God and obeyed God.  Because of Noah’s love of Yahweh and fear (respect) of Yahweh his entire family was spared from certain death.

Questions:  

If you would have lived in the days of Noah what would have kept you safe from the flood that Yahweh sent to cover the earth?

What today can keep you safe from separation from God? (Romans 10:9)

Yahweh, you are holy, powerful, slow to anger, continually loving, full of grace toward us.  You know our sinful hearts yet you love us all the same.  Help us to love and respect you and follow where you lead.

To get each day’s devotions and a pdf of the Names of God chain link please see http://truthsfortots.com/

A wonderful children’s book to accompany this study is “What’s in a Name?” :  Learning about the Names of God by Cathy Jo Johnson  http://truthsfortots.com/whats-in-a-name/

Blessings to you and your family this Christmas Season.

Until the next “Truth” sharing moment,

Cathy Jo Johnson

 

 

 

 

 

Columbus Day: The Real Story

Daily Truth:  “Oh send out your light and truth!  Let them lead me… ” Psalm 43:3 a

 

Columbus

Columbus Day finds some families on fall break. Other families may be taking advantage of the low prices  at  Columbus Day sales. Many elementary age children are discussing Christopher Columbus at school.

There was Queen Isabella who helped Columbus achieve his goals by providing money.  The Nina, the Pinta, and the Santa Maria were commissioned to sail Columbus to the New World.  Columbus was born in Italy. These are some facts about Columbus but are children  taught the real facts about Columbus?

There is a wonderful book entitled, “The Light and Glory” by Peter Marshall and David Manuel that provides insight about Columbus Day.   It shares historical accounts from 1492 to 1793 and tells how God’s will was sought and where God’s sovereignty was seen throughout America’s history.

“His name, Christopher, literally means Christ-bearer.  Indeed, he found confirmation of his call almost everywhere he looked.  He would quote in his journal such lines of Scripture as those in Isaiah that meant so much to him.”

“Listen to me, O coastlands, and hearken, you peoples from afar,
The LORD called me from the womb,
from the body of my mother he named my name…
I will give you as a light to the nations,
that my salvation may reach to the end of the earth.
Isaiah 49:1,6″

Marshall’s and Manuel’s research gleaned much insight into the man of Christopher Columbus.  Columbus’s personal journals are quoted.  “‘I prayed to the most merciful Lord concerning my desire, and He gave me the spirit and the intelligence for it.  He gave me abundant skill in the mariner’s arts, an adequate understanding of the stars, and of geometry and arithmetic…God has equipped me for this voyage. ‘”

Columbus made many voyages once funded by King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella.  After two months and several days while sailing to the New World Columbus agreed to turn back in three days if no sign of land was seen. “At  2:00 a.m., (October 12, 1492) with less than four hours remaining before the dawn of the third and final day, the electrifying cry at last rang out from the Pinta…The lookout had spied what appeared to be a low white cliff shining in the moonlight, and Martin Pinzon confirmed the sighting by firing a cannon as a signal. Land!”

“Columbus was the first to set foot on dry land, carrying the royal standard, with the brothers Pinzon directly behind him, bearing a huge white banner with a green cross and the crowned initials of Ferdinand and Isabella on either side of it.”

“Several of the sailors scooped out a deep hole in the hot sand and firmly planted the eight -foot oak cross Columbus had brought especially for this occasion.  Then the entire company gathered around it and knelt, many with tears in their eyes.  The Admiral christened the island San Salvador-“Holy Savior”-and then bowed their heads as he prayed:  ‘O Lord, Almighty and everlasting God, by Thy holy Word Thou hast created the heaven, and the earth, and the sea; blessed and glorified be Thy Name, and praised be Thy Majesty, which hath deigned to use us, Thy humble servants, that Thy holy Name may be proclaimed in this second part of the earth.'”

Columbus’s good intentions and desire to serve God on future voyages waned as the desire of gold and honor outweighed his earlier passion of serving God first. “The preoccupation with gold, which had subtly insinuated itself into the fabric of Columbus’s first explorations in the New World, was now becoming an obsession.”

On his last voyage Columbus and his crew overcame many obstacles.  “Columbus may have turned away from God, but God did not turn away from Columbus.  By sheer grace God brought him and his remaining crew members safely home to Spain.  But this time there was no royal summons inviting him to court.  Queen Isabella way dying.  It was the end of an era.”

“In the spring of 1506 Columbus’s health began to fail quickly” and Columbus died.

May we follow Psalm 43:3 and follow God’s light and truth.  May we not become consumed with desires that lead us away from God.  May we lead our children in paths of truth.   May we learn from people’s mistakes as well as their good choices as we study from history and the Bible.

There is also a children’s version of “Light and Glory” that would be excellent reading with your child.

Now you know the “rest of the story” about Christopher Columbus and the reason for Columbus Day.

Until the next “Truth” sharing moment.

Cathy Jo