Do you have a daily quiet time? Do your kids?

Do your kids have a daily quiet time? I am all about parents/grandparents being role models. I know quiet time is usually adult time for individual, quiet, one-on-one with God – but creating a specific time when kids know to pray and read their Bibles can be a wonderful habit for them.

Most kids have time they use for doing homework, right? You, as their parent, have time set aside when your kids know you expect them to complete whatever homework they have brought home.

I know this might be hard to establish, but a morning quiet time can be as simple as reading a Bible verse on a topic, then praying for their day. Since it is still summer, now would be a fantastic time to set aside 10 minutes in the morning to pray for the requests in your family prayer journal, and read one or two verses on a topic you have chosen.

No matter what age, even small kids can learn how to fold their hands, bow their heads and listen while their parents say very short prayers.

To tell the truth, I did devotions with my kids in the evening for about 15 years almost every night, but I never tried to have them do a morning quiet time. It could be difficult during the school year, unless you are doing this with small children, or they have a later school start time, but it could be scheduled into weekends, holidays and summer mornings. Let me know if you try this…I’d like to know how it goes!

Ephesians 6:4,  Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord.

More activities for week three!

Hard to believe we are already several weeks into summer! I have some challenging activities for this week. I like “challenges” because I think having competitions between family members, or having activities that family members have to share, makes them more accountable. Plus, it’s FUN!

Mind: Research:

  • What is a “Segway?” Have you ever ridden one? Find out all about them (Google it).
  • When were they created? Why? What are they used for mostly?
  • Also, would you try to ride one if you haven’t done so before?
  • SMALL KIDS: Draw a picture of your family riding segways on vacation.
  • OLDER KIDS: Create a newspaper article on segways, answering the above questions.  (Who, what, when, where, why and how).
  • ALL: Share the results of your investigations.

Body: Crunches:

  • (Remember, be careful if you are very out of shape or have a health condition. Check with your doctor first, and follow his/her advise.) This should be fun, not fatal!
  • How many crunches can your family members do?
  • Give your family a one or two minute time limit to do as many crunches as possible.
  • Must follow good form (hands under head, raise head and shoulders only, not trunk, face must be looking at the ceiling).
  • Alternate activity: Push ups! Can be “knee” or traditional, but all family members must do them the same way.

Soul: Memorizing a verse:

  • Agree on one verse to memorize
  • Must be able to say it without reading it after two days,  to call it “memorized.”
  • Younger kids: Choose a very short verse
  • Older kids: Choose a verse that has at least 10 words in it.
  • Who can remember their verse after a week?!

 

Ways to “bring Jesus home,” Part 3

What should you do for yourself?

For the last segment of my compilation, I have separated out the things I think parents/grandparents need to do for themselves. I know you know that raising kids is a full time job…which, if you already have a full time job outside the home, means that you have two full time jobs!  Whew!! Even though we have the “head knowledge” of knowing we have many jobs, we rarely treat ourselves as if we did. In other words, we are like the Energizer Bunny that just keeps going, and going, and going.

As I started to write this, with the above information in mind, my next thought was that parents don’t need more things to do in their day. I get it! Really! But, I think the time that you do have can be used differently, and still not add “things” to your day. For example, prayer. To increase prayer time, pray before meals. Pray when you are having “cuddle time” with your child, pray after devotions. It takes time to change habits, but if you decide you want to pray with your kids, write yourself notes, or put the activity on your planner until it becomes habit.

To me, the two best things you can do for yourself, are pray, and read your Bible.  In the online article “Prayer 101: How Do I Talk to God?,” it states that prayer is talking with God, and it helps us develop a deeper relationship to Him. We need prayer, because we need to let God know what is going on in our hearts. In Hebrews 4:16 it says we can, “…approach the throne of grace with confidence, so we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need” (https://billygraham.org). And we need to know what God wants us to do, in terms of raising our kids. Not praying could be compared to not talking to your very best friend, or spouse, for no reason. Would you do that? God loves hearing from us, both good and bad things.

I don’t believe that we can raise Godly, Christian kids without prayer. We need to ask God to help us get through our jam-packed days, and still be able to reflect our relationship with Jesus to our kids. “With God ALL things are possible,”(Matthew 19:26b).  I believe it!

The second (and equally important) thing parents/grandparents should do, is read their Bible. It is hard to defend your faith, if you really don’t know what you believe. There are many “read the Bible in one year” devotionals, that can break down the Bible into doable parts. But you don’t have to read the entire Bible, if you don’t have time. Please choose a good devotional, one that touches your heart, and read the verses that are referenced for each day. Even a few verses a day will start you on the road to getting more familiar with God’s word.

One last thing I think is important is to have a Christian friend and/or spouse, who can walk with you down the road of raising Christian kids. You need someone to bounce ideas off of, share carpooling to church and activities, even vent to when things are difficult.

The job of raising Christian kids is tough, but ETERNALLY rewarding.

More ways to bring Jesus home? Part 2

This is a continuation of the list I posted last time. It is a compilation of ways to “bring Jesus home.” Next time, I will have a list focused on parents/grandparents.

D. Work consistently to build up your kids’ faith

  1. Do devotions with them several times a week
    1. Find a time that works, and stick with it! (Morning, evening, right after dinner, right before bedtime)
  2.  Memorize, memorize, memorize! Besides prayer, this is an activity that will “arm” our kids with the necessary gospel that will help them when they are being challenged by their friends and circumstances. (Get “armed and dangerous” in God’s word!)
  3. Discuss biblical topics with your kids; salvation, God’s love, His intimate interest in them, control, anxiety, patience, honoring Mom and Dad, etc.
  4. Use Jesus as a positive role model for your kids, not a judgmental authoritarian figure ready to pounce on them when they mess up.
  5. Discuss the hard topics; why God lets bad things happen, why people do bad things, how God feels about sex, drugs, gay lifestyle, etc.
    1. (Obviously, this needs to be at the time when kids are ready for these topics, not before)
  6. Go to church!  This seems like it shouldn’t need to be stated, but I believe there are a lot of people who are so busy, they don’t have time for church.  I also believe that God will honor the time you spend with Him, and bless you for it.
  7. Guide your kids with their spare time: Use electronics wisely, set time limits and keep to them!
    1. Play board games as a family.
    2. Have a family night out and do something together.
    3. Play outdoors together, or at least have your kids play outside.
    4. Have your kids get involved in church clubs and groups (AWANA, Youth group, choir, drama), and/or school extracurricular activities like clubs or sports.
    5. Celebrate the Christian aspect of big holidays, such as Christmas and Easter.
      1. It’s ok to acknowledge the secular parts of these holidays, but they get so much of it at school that participating in Christ honoring traditions at home is not necessarily “leaving out” the secular aspect.
    6. Challenge your kids to accomplish something in keeping with God’s word.
      1. For example, can they demonstrate in real life an example of following the Golden Rule?
    7. Eat dinner together!!! If not every night, at least several times a week. Get off all the electronics and talk to one another. Get to know each other all over again!  If you need to, come up with a topic for discussion before dinner, so you know what you want to discuss.

 

Do you know the ways to bring Jesus home?

Over the past seven months or so, I have been posting about things that parents might want to make a priority, when raising Christian kids. Last week I went over all the posts I have written so far, collected and prioritized these, in order to have one “document” that lists what I think God has given me as important things that help families incorporate Jesus into their everyday lives.

I am going to make this a downloadable document, so it can be printed out and won’t look like a blog post, but it doesn’t exist yet. I’ll let you know when it is available.

I have sub-divided this list into things to can do for yourself, and things to do with your family.

With your family…

A. Make sure your kids are Christian.

  1. I know this seems silly, but many kids believe that people are born into whatever religion their parents are.
  2. Help your kids realize that being a Christian means having a relationship with Jesus, and that it is much more than just a “religion”.
  3. If your child is not sure, or you are not sure they have accepting Jesus into their heart as their Savior, share the gospel with them, and ask them if they want to ask Jesus into their heart.

B. Trust your kids into God’s hands.

  1. Let Him control what you do and say to them about Him.
  2. Believe that God will have a hand in how you raise them, if you want Him to.

C. Pray, pray, pray!

  1. Discuss with your kids on when during the day you should pray, both as a family, and individually.
  2. Share with them the things you are praying about (unless it shouldn’t be shared, of course).
  3. Create a prayer journal, and review it to show your kids how Jesus has answered their prayers.
    1. (Remember, “wait” and “no” are also answers to prayer!)
  4. Encourage your kids to pray for the Holy Spirit to take away their desire to get mad, or get even with other kids, and also, to take away temptations to gossip, and complain.
  5. Have your kids hold you accountable to pray everyday, as you hold them accountable as well.

 

How many ways are there to get to Heaven?

Do all roads lead to Heaven? In today’s world, with political correctness being the norm, it is said that as long as you are spiritual, or have some sort of faith, you are fine. Does that mean Jesus was wrong? Jesus said, I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father (goes to Heaven), except through Me.

Our kids get the politically correct information about being a good person all the time. Just ask their teachers. And a lot of their parents. If Jesus said He was the only way to Heaven, was He lying? Was He just another crazy cult leader? Or was He telling the truth? Ask your kids what they believe.

Jesus said, Unless you are born again, you cannot enter into the kingdom of Heaven.  Was He being a hater, racist, separatist, isolationist, or politically incorrect? Or was He right?

In our world today, many, many kids are growing up with little to no beliefs about Heaven. Most kids don’t go to church regularly. Their parents also have no particular beliefs about Heaven, or think it’s an issue they will deal with “when the time comes.” I believe that this is one very big reason kids go into their schools and shoot their peers. A child with no faith can be a child with no hope.

It is time that as a Christian parent, we make certain that our kids are firm in their beliefs, and can share that faith. Satan is on the prowl, and in today’s world our Christian kids are prone to do the same hateful things that non-Christian kids do, in terms of gossiping, backbiting against their peers, and living as though they didn’t know anything about Christ.

Christian kids should have a faith that is unshakable, because Jesus died and rose again to make it so. Do your kids have an unshakable faith? Do YOU? According to the web article: “Are Young People Really Leaving Christianity”, most Christian kids (63%) don’t believe Jesus is the son of the one true God.  http://coldcasechristianity.com/2018/are-young-people-really-leaving-christianity/

Please don’t leave your kids’ faith to chance. Don’t expect them to figure it out for themselves, because they won’t.

John 14:6, Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”

John 3:3, Jesus replied, “Very truly I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God unless they are born again.”

What are your top priorities?

God, family, others.  Our priorities are to be: God first, family next, and finally, others. We all have things in our life that are competing for priority. Where exactly is “life” supposed to come in on this list? Do we come home from work, collapse on the couch and veg in front of the TV, (or smart phone), or do we sit and cuddle with our kids and ask them about their day? The bottom line is that we tend to make time for the things that are important to us, even if we will tell someone that we don’t have time for some other activity that isn’t as important.

Sadly, there are many times when we forget just what our priorities should be.  Take the time right now – with your kids, if they are old enough – to reset your priorities.  Make a list of the top 10 priorities in your life. Have your kids do the same. Before sharing your lists with each other, eliminate 6-7 of those top 10, leaving only 3-4 of the very top priorities in your life. Now share them with your spouse and kids. Are any of yours similar to your kids’? Discuss ways to help your kids, and have them help you, to maintain the most important priorities in your lives. And remember, if you put God first, He will help you have enough time for other priorities.

Matthew 6:33, Seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be added unto you. (KJV)

Ecclesiastes 3:1-8, 11a, To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under heaven: 2) A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted; 3) A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up; 4)  A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn and a time to dance; 5) A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing; 6) A time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away; 7) A time to rend and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak; 8) A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war and a time of peace.  11a) God has made everything beautiful in His time…   (KJV)

Luke 12:34, For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.

Are you enjoying Spring Break?

Spring Break. What an excellent time to teach our kids fun ways we can serve the Lord! Yes, I said “Fun ways to serve.” This year my grandkids and I have had the opportunity to serve by helping two different ministries at our church, and I know they would say it was indeed “fun.”

My younger granddaughter loves to bake. Well, our prison ministry takes homemade cookies to prisoners and shares the gospel message 2-3 times a year. This year my grandgirl and I baked and took about 5 dozen cookies for this ministry.

And, in a second opportunity, three of my four grandkids and I “stuffed” eggs for our Easter egg hunt. Our church fills at least 10,000 eggs, and I think between my grandkids and I, we must have stuffed between 1000-2000!! But believe it or not, my grandson said he had more fun stuffing eggs than he would have had on his electronics. Amazing! And such a blessing to others.

It’s easy to serve. And it really does feel good. Please let me know the ways in which you and your kids serve the Lord, both in and out of church. I really want to know and pray for you and your efforts!

www.bringingjesushome.com

I Samuel 12:24 says, But be sure to fear the Lord and serve Him faithfully with all your heart; consider what great things He has done for you.

I Peter 4:10 states, Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms.

Do you live the “Golden Rule”?

Do you live the Golden Rule, and do you teach it to your kids?

I have a challenge for you, parents/grandparents. I challenge you, to challenge your kids to do one thing for someone else, that demonstrates the Golden Rule. Give them one week to do something for someone, that demonstrates how they would like to be treated. For example, someone trips and falls, and your child helps them up. Or, they stand up for someone who is being bullied. Or, they stop a rumor from spreading, by not sharing it with someone else. There are so many opportunities that we don’t take advantage of, to show others the Golden Rule. Not spreading gossip, being honest instead of lying about something, the list is endless.

Every person wants to be respected, but in our society today, giving respect to someone else seems to be optional. Let’s start turning that idea around. It is not only a good idea, it is a command from God. Luke 6:31 says, And just as you want men to do to you, you also do to them likewise. In other words, treat other people the way you want to be treated.

Read Luke 6:27-42 to your  kids, and discuss their opinions on this issue. Send me comments on how this challenge went! I would love to hear from you!!!

http://bringingjesushome.com

How do your kids learn to trust you?

How do your kids learn about trust? Studies on this subject indicate that children learn to trust, when their parents come through for them in their time of need. When they are babies and hungry, all they can do is cry, in order to get fed. You, their parent, feed them. And this happens over and over again.  Your child is learning that they can trust you to feed them when they are hungry.

I know this is obvious, especially if you are a parent, but this is exactly the same way we, as Christians learn to trust Jesus. It is a simple analogy…we go to Jesus in our time of need, pray for help, and He will help us. We may need Christ to help us see the answer, but it is there.

Many times the last person we go to when we need help is Jesus. We want to  tackle the issue ourselves; or we don’t even think about going to Jesus as a way to solve the problem.  This is human nature, and very much a part of the American culture. The problem with trying to solve the problem ourselves is that Jesus wants us to come to Him. He wants to be a part of the solution. Not only that, He knows our lives from the beginning to the end, and knows the path that is the best for us.

The best way to learn to trust Jesus, is to trust Jesus. Sounds simple, and it is, but it is also very difficult. Giving over an issue to Jesus has to be an act of our will. We don’t know the path our life will take, Jesus does. He also has our best interest in mind, knows us better than we know ourselves, and loves us like crazy.

We can trust Jesus, because He IS trustworthy.  If we need to take small steps to learn to trust Him, let’s do it that way.

Another benefit of learning to trust Jesus, our kids will learn that we trust Him, and we will be teaching them to learn to trust Him as well.  In this world in which we live, our kids are going to need to trust Jesus with all the problems they will face.  We can leave our kids in good hands, with Jesus.

Psalm 9:10, Those who know your name trust in you, for you, Lord, have never forsaken those who seek you.

Proverbs 3:5-6, Trust in the Lord with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding, in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.