Thursday, November 1, 2012

The Importance of Intentional Parenting

Our roles as parents are by far the most important roles we will ever fill. Perhaps even more important than we will ever begin to realize. We are responsible not only for feeding, clothing, and housing, but also physical, mental, emotional and spiritual health. We are responsible for life, both in this world and the life thereafter.

What we teach our children today will directly influence the kind of person they will become, as well as the choices they will make for themselves and for their own children one day.

"Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it."
(Proverbs 22:6 ESV)

What a very powerful promise God has made! Our lives are often riddled with uncertainty, but never so much as when we are responsible for another life.

I remember the first time we brought our daughter, Faith, home from the hospital. I have never been so scared, so uncertain and nervous in my whole life. For first time I felt completely out of my element and unsure of myself. I was so scared that I was going to accidentally hurt this precious, fragile angel God entrusted to me. I couldn't believe they were just sending me home with her. I felt like I should have a masters degree in child care first or be expected to pass some sort of test.

I would like to say the uncertainty has worn off, but it hasn't. Every second of every day I am second guessing myself, wanting only the best for her, trying to be the best I can for her, trying to teach her and prepare her for life. That is a heavy responsibility for anyone and one I could no doubt mess up without even realizing it until its too late, which is what makes me nervous.

However, my Father thought of this. How well He knows me! He knew I would need His instructions, His Words of wisdom in moments of uncertainty like these. He left me a promise I could firmly stand on, that would reassure me and put my worries to rest.

"You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength. “And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up."
(Deuteronomy 6:5-7 NKJV)

Stand on the promise of God. Lead your children and diligently train them up to love the Lord with all their heart, soul and strength. If you do this the Lord promises that when they have grown they will not depart from what you have taught them. For the first time and perhaps the only time in your life you can be assured and confident that you are doing the right thing, that you are teaching them and guiding them in the right direction.

7 Ways To Teach Toddlers God's Word

Adapted from a handout at the CDG seminar "Nursery and Toddler Ministry: Preparing the Littlest Ones to Stand on Truth." Audio will be available within the month.

1. Have an open Bible on your lap during story time. This reinforces where the story comes from—God's word.

2. Use short sentences and few words. Too many words overwhelm young minds.

3. Be animated in your facial expressions and tone of voice. This will help keep children engaged.

3. Incorporate movement into the story and singing. Children this age need to move their bodies. Movement helps them learn and remember what you're teaching them.

4. Create routines during the story/circle times by using songs, finger plays, etc.

5. Use repetition to cement biblical concepts in children's hearts and minds.

6. Keep it short and sweet. A story time of 5-10 minutes is the maximum children this age can attend to and sit for.

Free Thanksgiving Printables

Want some free stuff? Well look no further. I've gathered some truly awesome free printables for you to enjoy! I hope you like them.

Here is one from These Creative Juices:
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Craftily Ever After created these free printable:


and she also made:

Want something extra special for your kids or hubby’s lunchbox? Print out these freebies from Crafts & Sutch!
Last, but not least, head on over to My Computer Is My Canvas to get this freebie:

Catch My Party created these and several more:

Thanksgiving Bible Verse {Songs for Saplings}

Free Kindle E-Book: When Calls the Heart

Author(s): Janette Oke
Publisher: Bethany House Publishers
Price: FREE

Nothing in her cultured East Coast upbringing prepared Elizabeth for a teaching position on the Canadian frontier. Yet, despite the constant hardships, she loves the children in her care. Determined to do the best job she can and fighting to survive the harsh land, Elizabeth is surprised to find her heart softening towards a certain member of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. Book 1 of the bestselling Canadian West series.

Book Review: The Lucado Inspirational Reader

Anyone who knows me, knows I am an AVID Max Lucado fan. I've read many of his books and I have a whole stack of others I've bought with the intention of reading through. If thats not enough, I've also borrowed even more from friends who had books I didn't have yet. So needless to say I find Max Lucado to be an incredible writer. I recommend him to anyone who wishes to read a Christian book that will draw you closer to God in a way that is natural and fluid. His stories are deep and meaningful. He has a way of writing that will draw you into the story, into the moment and hold you there so that you can experience first hand the incredible majesty of God.

This particular book is a Max Lucado fan's dream come true! All of the best quotes and stories from more than 50 different books he's written all in one place. It's well organized into 27 meaningful categories for easy access to relevant writings and even contains a topical index in the back of the book. I am extremely impressed with this book and recommend it to everyone who knows and loves Lucado's writing and even to those who have never even heard of him. This is a great way to introduce someone to his writings and would be an excellent gift to friends, coworkers and family of all ages.

Comfort and the cross. Faith and  forgiveness. Salvation and spiritual refreshment. Spend a few minutes or a couple of hours at the foot of the cross. Take a moment or an afternoon to search the heart of the Savior. Seize a second for a second chance. Return to these words time and again for a dose of hope and encouragement straight from Max's heart to yours.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Verse of The Day

"Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord."

- Ephesians 6:4

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