Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Relationships are wonderful gifts given to us by God. As we read in the Bible, the most-intimate relationship is marriage between a husband and a wife. Unfortunately, relationships today are under more cultural and interpersonal pressure and stress than ever before in our history.But it doesn’t have to be that way. Together, we can make a long-term difference for healthy relationships and marriages … starting with yours!What can you do to make a difference?

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Fostering fun on the family car trip

Fostering fun on the family car trip
By: Creative Play Muse
Spending a long time in the car with kids? Make it fun:
Despite the high price of gas, many American families will be taking roadtrips this summer.
Some parents dread this extended “car time” and use electronic entertainment to ward off children’s boredom.
Yet, many experts caution that nonstop use of electronic media reduces valuable time that can be better used to foster relationships and stimulate learning, particularly in the first six years.
In her book, “Everyday Creative Play,” Lisa R. Church suggests a few ways to engage kids on car trips that help them learn, teach them life skills and engage them with other family members.
Her list includes:
Tell a story: Someone starts out with the first line of a story and each person adds a line. This can be silly or scary (or not) and can last as long as the trip or as short as to the next rest stop.
Count cars: This game has many varieties. Look for and count cars by make, color or any other category you decide. You can also count dogs, cows, churches, nests on power poles, etc.
Measurement games: Which is bigger, an elephant or a hippo? Whose house is farthest away, Grammy’s or Uncle Paul’s? Talk about all the things we use measurement for and why.
What sort of games do play in the car with your kids (or grandkids)?
Bradenton.com 07/07/2008 Car trips can foster learning, fun

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Peace When We Don't Get It

Philippians 4:6-8 (New International Version)
6Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
8Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.

I am so grateful to our Father for the peace He brings. I have found myself this week missing my husband more then I have felt before since this deployment began in January. And struggling with the thoughts of knowing that God is in control and He has the plan and purpose for Wayne being in Kuwait. So I get frustrated with myself for being lonely and questioning God.

It is totally amazing to me that in the midst of all of this inner turmoil is a peace that can't be described. How do people who do not know our Savior ever make it through?

I have been given the blessing this week of watching the Bukowski family go through an incredibly difficult time with the loss of their father and yet they have a peace and a strength.
It only comes from above.

Our God is a covenant keeping God and if you will come to Him "6Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. He will give you the peace you so desperately need.

He really will!

Thursday, June 26, 2008

We All Choose

This past week the Lord has nudged me with "choices." It doesn't seem like such an important word just 7 little letters but what an impact on our physical lives as well as our eternal lives one little choice can make. Most of us spend more time contemplating whether to "biggie size" it then we do on the important things. EVERY choice we make has a consequence. "Biggie size" means we get fatter, then have to loose more weight. Just talking to that coworker who understands me can lead to infidelity-divorce-children's destiny's changed.

"Joshua 24:15 But if serving the LORD seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your forefathers served beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the LORD."

Joshua is choosing the one true God. It amazes me that God allows us to choose, since we seem to make so many wrong choices. Have you thought about it though what will you choose: gluttony over self control, lust over your marriage, things over giving.

It's our choice. The end matters.

Monday, June 16, 2008

A Promise Is A Promise

I am currently reading the book "Between Two Worlds" by Elizabeth Marquardt. It is a real look into the lives of the now adult children of divorce (of which I am one). At the same time I have just completed my 12th week of teaching on the Ten Commandments to our 3rd - 5th graders. Something has stuck with me from the joining of these two studies and I can not let it go.
When we as adults make a promise/commitment/covenant/pledge/vow, to love our spouse till death do us part that is HUGE. Not just to us but to our children. We adults seem to be able to justify the ending of a marriage (the breaking of a promise.)
All the while we are telling the children "this is just between mom and daddy" "it is not your fault" "we could never stop loving you." (I do believe there are times when divorce is appropriate, that is not what I am referring to here. To many times spouses just think life is cooler on the other side and they move on.)
Have we ever thought about how confusing that is to a child. We teach that God will never break a promise. We teach them to tell the truth and keep their word. We show them that we got married and made a promise but it's ok to break this one.
My thought, why wouldn't a child on some level begin thinking "if mom and dad can break a promise to each other then why wouldn't they break a promise to me." "Or if mom and dad can stop loving each other, then why couldn't they stop loving me?" Worse yet if my parents can break a promise to each other then why wouldn't God break a promise?
Parents, a promise is a promise and even if the marriage doesn't have fireworks anymore it is still the way that God designed families. One father, one mother and the children. Children will always become healthier adults when they come from a two parent home.
If you don't like your marriage right now CHANGE IT! You be the one to bring the fun back, you be the one to show affection first, you be the one to say I am sorry first. If you can put effort into leaving you can put effort into staying and improving.
This is your children's future and the generations to come you are dealing with not just your own. And they ARE worth the effort.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

One Chance

This past Sunday's message spoke so much to me that I wanted to share it. Below you will find the notes to the sermon. The message was such a huge reminder to me as a mom, adopted gramma and children's pastor that we only get one first chance with our kids. God grants us 18 years if we are lucky to love on, invest in, raise up, give our children the necessary tools to be all they are created to be. Our children need to know how to honor and respect not only our heavenly Father but also those around them and themselves. Please take a minute to go over the notes and then spend some time in prayer and see how He leads you.

Relatively Speaking #6 Speaking of Kids
"Come, my children, listen as I teach you to respect the Lord. Psalm 34:11"

A most basic responsibility of an adult to children is to teach them by word and example to Respect and Honor God.

What happens when a young person learns to respect and honor God?
1. Emotional health
"I asked the Lord for help and he saved me from all my fears." Psalm 34:4
2. No Regrets
"Keep your eyes on the Lord! You will shine like the sun and you will never blush with shame." Psalm 34:5
3. Protection
"I was a nobody, but I prayed and the Lord saved me from all my troubles. If you honor the Lord, his angel will protect you. Discover for yourself that the Lord is kind. Come to him for protection, and you will be glad." Psalm 34:6-8
4. Success
"...if you trust the Lord, you will never miss out on anything good." Psalm 34:10
5. Always a Great Ending
"The Lord's people may suffer a lot, but he will always bring them safely through." Psalm 34:19

Check out our church web site @ CornerstoneFMC.org

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Children Learn What They Live

Children Learn What They Live By Dorothy Law Nolte, Ph.D.

If children live with criticism, they learn to condemn.
If children live with hostility, they learn to fight.
If children live with fear, they learn to be apprehensive.
If children live with pity, they learn to feel sorry for themselves.
If children live with ridicule, they learn to feel shy.
If children live with jealousy, they learn to feel envy.
If children live with shame they learn to feel guilty.
If children live with encouragement, they learn confidence.
If children live with tolerance, they learn appreciation.
If children live with praise, they learn appreciation.
If children live with acceptance, they learn to love.
If children live with approval, they learn to like themselves.
If children live with recognition, they learn it is good to have a goal.
If children live with sharing, they learn generosity.
If children live with honesty, they learn truthfulness.
If children live with fairness, they learn justice.
If children live with kindness and consideration, they learn respect.
If children live with security, they learn to have faith in themselves and in those around them.
If children live with friendliness, they learn the world is a nice place in which to live.