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Raising Successful Kids

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How do you define success? When you look at your kids and you try to imagine their future… what do you see?

Last week, in my post It’s a Sin to Bore People with the Bible, I shared a little about teaching the Scriptures to our kids in a fun way, and I also shared a link to download another free audio teaching from the NCBP from their book Say Goodbye to Whining, Complaining, and Bad Attitudes, In You and Your Kids. This audio teaching was based on raising successful kids by teaching them to be children of honor.

In this teaching you will be able to discern what you as a parent can do to teach honor in your home. It will also hopefully help you to look at your own life to see if you are a man or woman of honor. We as parents need to always ask ourselves, am I displaying the attitude and character that I expect to see in my children. We also need to ask ourselves, is the behavior I keep correcting in my kids merely their reflection of my own example.

We as adults might get frustrated with kids, but sadly it doesn’t take long too see that most kids are just doing what they have not been taught… but caught.

It has only taken two years of children’s ministry to learn this.

I have lost count of the times that I have walked into my children’s kitchen to find that someone has used the dryer or washer and instead of folding the items in there… they dump and pile them up on the counter. Instead of washing and putting away the dishes used, dishes are left dirty in the sink. Instead of returning the stapler borrowed… it’s never seen again. Instead of putting the supplies back where they got them, supplies are left thrown in the floor. Instead of throwing away the empty box, it’s left in the pantry or the fridge. Instead of throwing away something that is broken it’s left sitting out for someone to grab thinking it works and it’s not replaced because no one knows it needs to be. Instead of staying and helping clean up an event mess… it’s left for someone else to do… someone who will do it alone.

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So if you are struggling with your children honoring you and honoring others… are they seeing you honor others? How do they see you treat your spouse? How do they see you treat the person checking you out at the department store? How do they see you treat the waiter at the restaurant? How do they see you treat your parents? How do they see you treat them?

 If I then, the Lord and the Teacher, washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. For I gave you an example that you also should do as I did to you. 

John 13:14-15

I wrote a post several years ago, Honor Follows Honor, as I was reading through the Pursuit of God by AW Tozer. How we honor others and how we honor God will be reflected in our children and in the legacy we leave behind us. Are your children following in the footsteps of honor?

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foosteps 3

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I took these photos several years ago as we were walking down the beach. My husband was walking in front and he had no clue that as he walked our youngest was trying to step her steps in his exact footprints. It so represented the truth of parenting and a father’s role in a child’s life that I had to capture it. If your children were to follow in your exact footprints where would they end up?

Would they become men and women of honor?

You can still get the one hour audio teaching on honor with practical real life examples on how to teach it in your home right here on my website. Just scroll down to the bottom of my last week’s post to Get Honor Audio Teaching.

As you listen to this teaching on honor you will catch some great little nuggets like these:

Just because you have a desire to lecture doesn’t mean your child has a desire to listen… Look for teachable moments. 
~ Scott Turansky

Whining and complaining is a kids way of trying to manipulate their parents into doing what they want.
~ Joanne Miller

Like I said those are just a couple of nuggets… there is a whole hour of some great practical parenting tools in there. Take advantage of these free offers!

Now today’s free audio download is from the book Parenting is Heart Work which is actually on special right now through the NCBP if you would like to go ahead and purchase the book. The free audio teaching I am offering today is on teaching your kids to listen to and follow instruction.

To get the free audio teaching just click here: Teaching Kids to Listen and Follow Instructions

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Comfortable with the Cross

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Sometimes I struggle with christendom… A few days ago I was driving with my girls and on the radio the announcer shared that she often found herself comfortable with the cross. I had to shake my head and wonder on that one.

For Christ did not send me to baptize, but to preach the gospel, not in cleverness of speech, so that the cross of Christ would not be made void.

1 Corinthians 1:17 

You see to me, to become comfortable with the cross is to become comfortable with sin. To become comfortable with the cross is to become complacent with your own life. I am reminded daily that I have far from arrived… and with every reminder I find myself clinging to the cross… not propped up against. It’s not my comfort zone, it’s my cling zone.

I see the cross all around me.

I see the cross when I hear people use His name in vain.

I see the cross when I hear a parent allow a child to treat them with disrespect and watch parents cave to the whims of their kids.

I see the cross when I see someone dirty and disheveled standing on the side of the road holding a cardboard sign.

I see the cross when I hear the latest political rants and schemes of particular interest groups as they fight for power, control, and money with and for votes.

I see the cross when I see the latest meth busts scroll across my newsfeed and there before me are the eyes of desperation drowning in their own darkness.

I see the cross when the famous professing christian boasts in self-esteem and positive thinking rather than the cross.

But may it never be that I would boast, except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world. 

Galatians 6:14

I see the cross when I drive over the causeway on warm Sunday mornings and see boat after boat on the river or drive by the softball fields to see them full.

I see the cross when I notice people scrolling through their phones and texting and giggling during the proclamation of the Scriptures.

For many walk, of whom I often told you, and now tell you even weeping,that they are enemies of the cross of Christ

Philippians 3:18

I see the cross when I pass that billboard that advertises filth and degradation and preys on lonely tired minds and unsettled souls in order to fatten a wallet by emptying those of others.

I see the cross in every marriage that falls apart.

I see the cross in every death.

I see the cross everywhere.

I see the cross in every birth of new life.

I see the cross in every marriage where two people come together to be united as one in covenant standing there before God and family and friends.

I see the cross in every awaken and freed soul who discovers that the only way loneliness is ever truly defeated is by the grace of God and the indwelling of His ever present Holy Spirit and for the first time in a long time is washed clean by the water of the Word and takes a deep breath and inhales the beauty of the purity of devotion to Christ.

I see the cross in the mesmerized face of a child or the lightbulb filled eyes of a believer who sits before the teaching of the Word of God and has a moment when something that has been a mystery for them all their life is revealed to them by God Himself.

I see the cross in the frazzled faces of every young parent who has just fought Satan himself to get the baby, the toddler, and the teenager out of bed, dressed, and ready for church.

I see the cross in the eyes of every former addict that once held darkness and despair but now glows with the Light filled new Life of Christ… renewed, strong, ready to finally face themselves and whatever demons they need to fight that once held them captive in the bondage of addiction.

I see the cross in the determined voter who stands at the polls ready to fight for what is right in every way that they know how… and through love, mercy, and the willingness to look past the smokescreen of selfishness to discover truth because they refuse to be bought by man because they know the price that Christ already paid for them.

I see the cross in every hand that goes out the window to hand that person on the side of the road whatever loose change they might have… refusing to contemplate what that person might do or not do with the money given… but simply giving it because someone asked.

I see the cross in every parent that kneels down to look their child in the eye and not roll their eyes at them but tell them that they love them too much too allow them to treat them with such dishonor and consequences and repercussions are coming… because a father who loves his son disciplines him.

I see the cross with every whisper of His name spoken in holy reverence and adoration and deep affection… knowing that their is no other name given to man by which we can be saved.

How can we become comfortable with the cross?

and He Himself bore our sins in His body on the cross, so that we might die to sin and live to righteousness; for by His wounds you were healed.

1 Peter 2:24 

If your life has become so comfortable that you are comfortable with the cross… let this week be a reminder of what happened on that cross… and for who it happened for.

You.

Don’t let the cross become mundane… and for the love of His glory don’t allow yourself to belittle it for the sake of relevance.

For some reason it seems that many today want to help people be comfortable in their mess… like a pig in the mire… but the cross of Christ was not meant to make us comfortable. There is nothing comfortable about it.

The cross is not meant to call us to comfort, but to call us to cling.

You shall follow the Lord your God and fear Him; and you shall keep His commandments, listen to His voice, serve Him, and cling to Him.

Deuteronomy 13:4

He carried His cross for us… and He asks that we carry ours for Him. As we carry it we discover for ourselves with great reality that there is nothing comfortable about it…

 And He was saying to them all, if anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross daily and follow Me. 

Luke 9:23

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April’s Autism Awareness: Alex’s Brutal Honesty

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One more today for April’s Autism Awareness. Today Andrea will be sharing with us about Alex’s Brutal Honesty…

Autism Awareness Month: Alex’s Brutal Honesty

alex honest

If you know a person with Autism or Asperger’s Syndrome, then you most likely know that they are often very honest, brutally honest. They often are only interested in telling the truth in a situation no matter how it affects people’s feelings. I am not trying to lump everyone with Autism into this category, but Alex definitely fits in with those who are like this. 

In the past, Alex will typically tell me the truth about anything I ask him. If I ask him if he spilled something on the floor or messed something up, he will answer, “yes” (if he did it). If he didn’t do it, he will throw Annika or Lincoln under the bus in a heartbeat. However, there have been times lately where he does lie to us.

For example, Alex does a lot of oral stimming (I will discuss this in another post).

He likes to chew on zippers a lot, and you will often find him chewing on his jacket – he seems to like to do this on the bus. He will get off the bus, and half of his jacket will be soaking wet. We get up to the house, and I will ask him if he chewed on his jacket. He will typically answer, “No”. I then make him look me in the eye, and I ask him again, and he will then tell the truth. So, I guess he is starting to learn things from his brother and sister .

alex honest 2

 

I have to admit that we do sometimes get excited when he does tell a small lie – I guess it makes us feel like he is doing something that “typical” children often do.

Alex is typically very honest with his answers to questions and things he tells you. At times, I have to admit that his brutal honesty has been embarrassing. Alex loves to be the person to push the buttons when we get in elevators. When we are at the hospital, the elevators are typically busy, and there are often people in them when we get in. I try to explain to Alex that he can’t push around people to get to the buttons (he doesn’t understand a person’s personal space or social etiquette). He will look at the people and scream, “I DON’T LIKE PEOPLE!!! Why do they have to be in here and push the buttons?”. Thank goodness a lot of times people can’t understand what he is saying because he is yelling so fast and loud .

There have also been a couple of times in church where we tell him it is time to go in front of the church for Children’s Church, and he slams down his iPad, screams “I don’t like church! Why do we have to come to church?” as he walks up the aisle and hits the back of seats when he comes to them.

Yes, we sometimes want to crawl into a hole 

I have also learned that Alex can tell when people honestly care about him and really want to be his true friend. But, I will talk more about this in a later post.

alex honest 1

 

To be continued…..

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April’s Autism Awareness (Alex’s Obsessions)

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We are still in the midst of April’s Autism Awareness. Today Andrea’s shares about Alex’s obsessions…

Autism Awareness Month: Alex’s Obsessions

If you know a child with Autism, you have probably noticed that they often get fixated on certain items. To kids with autism, these objects are familiar and predictable. They often help them in dealing with anxiety or get them calm in an environment that is uncomfortable to them.

Alex has had several different fixations/obsessions over the years. At one point, he was obsessed with salt shakers. When I would leave the room to change Annika’s diaper or something, he would scoot a chair over to the cabinet. He would then crawl on top of the countertop, grab for the shaker, and pour as much as he could out before I got to him. “Salt” would be the first thing he said when he came downstairs in the morning.

Alex also went through a stage where he was obsessed with balls. It didn’t matter what kind of ball, what shape, etc. He just loved balls. I can’t tell you how many balls we owned. He would sleep with them all over his bed. 

Then, his next obsession was lawn mowers. He would sit and talk to them and play with them for hours. He would go back and forth in the yard mowing with them. We always joked that he would be a landscaper when he grew up.

Alex Obsess

 

I think we counted we had around 16 or so between our house and my parents’ house. He still likes them, but we have been able to get rid of most of them. When he was in the hospital for his cancer treatments, he would have to sleep with one most nights!

Alex Obsess 2

The latest obsession which has lasted quite a while is balloons and inflatables. He really became obsessed with balloons while he was in the hospital. This may have been his way of coping with all of his treatments – I am not sure.

Alex Obsess 1

 

I just know that no matter what his little body was going through, a balloon made him very happy, and he would sleep with it and talk to it. He loves inflatables which range from bounce houses to pool rings and floats.

Alex Obsess 3

I can’t even begin to think of how many beach balls, swim rings, inflatable seahorses, etc. that we own. When he isn’t blowing one up, he is looking them up on his iPad and doing screen shots of them. He knows the manufacturer and model of each ring, float, etc.

Alex Obsess 4
For a while, we struggled thinking we should move him away from these little obsessions, but we realize they are his calming mechanism. I think his surroundings often over stimulate him or confuse him, and this is his comfort. So, we go along with it.

If you see us at the ball field, you will most likely see Alex with one of his inflatables. I apologize if you get knocked over by it or hit in the head . We get odd looks when we go places with these things, but so be it. When I asked Alex what he wants for his birthday this month, he listed various inflatables. It makes him happy, and in the end, that is what we want for all of our kids.

 

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Let’s Get Honest

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No one sues righteously and no one pleads honestly. They trust in confusion and speak lies; They conceive mischief and bring forth iniquity.

Isaiah 59:4

 

I am finishing up Dannah Gresh and Dr Juli Slattery’s book Pulling Back the Shades. I must say that I was very much pleased with the frankness and authenticity of these two women. I also greatly appreciated their willingness to discuss issues that many women cannot even say out loud… even if it is something that is a personal struggle.

As I shared in my last post, Warning: Married Sex Post, this book focuses on the longings of a woman’s heart as well as the longings of her body. God created us as sexual beings. Those longings are there whether we like it or not. You don’t have to read erotica, observe porn, or be sexually active in any way to experience the sexual desires of your body.

I have seen that many times in the church the answer to today’s over-sexualized culture is to under-sexualize the church. Often we find that the church either just screams “NO” loud and long or grabs the duct tape to ensure the silence or tries to side-step any discussion with an… uh what did you say… I didn’t catch that?

Sexual desire was created by God… how about we take it back for His glory. Just because this present world ruled by the demonic forces of evil takes God’s good things and twists and perverts them doesn’t mean we as the church are to hang our heads and walk away from them and decide that they belong to the enemy now.

Let’s take it back.

Let’s be honest. Let’s get honest with ourselves and with our spouses and with others. Let’s get honest and let’s get real… and let’s ask out loud our questions.

Another thing I love about this book is how it addresses the single lady and how she can handle her body’s sexual desires in a way that honors God and leaves her without guilt and shame or reaching to things outside of God’s will to deal with them.

This book is helpful for the singles and it’s helpful for the marrieds.

I used to struggle with what was “okay” sexually between me and my husband. Having had come into this whole sex thing in a very unhealthy way… I didn’t know what a healthy biblical sex life was supposed to look like. If you begin to read up on this you can find tons of different opinions on the matter… but as I was listening to my own pastor do a radio show one morning he shocked the radio host with his opinion on this subject.

In my mind I could see the jaw drop of the man through the radio. When the radio host asked my Southern Baptist pastor what his view of sex was, he shared what the Bible says concerning fornication and homosexuality, etc… but when it came to husband and wife all he had to say was Have at it!

Hebrews 13:4 says the marriage bed is undefiled. What a husband and wife choose to do in their marriage bed is undefiled.

Undefiled.

Do you hear me wife? Un-de-filed. Don’t allow the rigidness of religion to destroy the passion in your undefiled bed. Got it.

If not, get this book and read it… you’ll get it ;-)

For the faint of heart let me warn you this book doesn’t skirt around issues and it deals head on with lies that are found in our world today. If you don’t have a clue what BDSM is then let me give you the meaning of the acronym: Bondage, Dominance, Sadism, and Masochism. In this book Dr Slattery and Mrs Gresh spend an entire chapter breaking down this acronym and the dangers of it. The reading can get gruff… but it’s truth.

Now just in case you are reading this post and you are one of the many women who has read the best seller Fifty Shades of Grey let me be so bold as to tell you that you need to read this book. If you are one of the many moms that I heard passed this book on to your preteen and teen daughters to read after you… for the love of Christ it is imperative that you read Pulling Back the Shades

I have to believe that the only reason you would pass Fifty Shades on to your daughter would have to be because you were blinded by the enemy or deceived or desensitized by the things and ways of this world… regardless of the why… if you did… you have major damage control you need to address NOW.

As I said in my earlier post, I haven’t read the book… but what Dr Juli Slattery shared from its content made me physically sick when I thought of the kids and women that I knew had read it. So many lies… so many slinky seductive lies woven among its pages. It makes me angry. So very angry.

On the practical review side for this book. It’s an easy read. The chapters are short and manageable. It also has a section in the back that would allow you to easily use this book with a group. It would be great for a small women’s group.

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I am giving away a free copy of Pulling Back the Shades on Monday. You can enter to win on the rafflecopter below. However… even if you don’t win the free book… it’s well worth the money to purchase.

pulling back shades

 

Enter to win your own copy here:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

I have also donated two of my own books as consolation prizes.

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It’s A Sin To Bore People With The Bible

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Do your children enjoy Bible study? Do they enjoy the teachings of Scriptures in your home? Do you teach them the Scriptures at home?

Does Deuteronomy 6:4-9 terrify you and heap loads of guilt upon your shoulders?

Let me assure that it does not have to. The Bible is full of amazing and fun truths. It doesn’t have to be taught through boring monotone dry teaching… nor does it have to be taught through red faced emotional pounding. The Bible is alive. It should be taught with life.

The Scriptures are relevant for life… for us and for our children.

I will never forget the time that I was sitting at my co-op office desk and my then four year old nephew was sitting in front of me eating his lunch and was telling me something he watched in a cartoon and what he shared with me reminded me of the true story of David and Goliath so I began telling him the true story from the Scriptures.

By the time I got through his eyes were big as saucers and he said, “Nay-Nay that’s a true story?” And I said, “Yes sir, it sure is!” And he was like, “Whoa!

As I listened to the Teaching Spiritual Truths audio from the National Center for Biblical Parenting I heard Scott Turansky share a saying of his father, “It’s a sin to bore people with the Bible“. I never want anyone to walk away from my teachings of the Scriptures and say that the Bible is boring… especially my own children.

If you find it boring or are afraid that you don’t know how to teach it to your kids in a fun and interesting way… please listen to this teaching that is available for you for FREE! It’s one hour of your time… and it could make an eternal difference in your heart and in the heart of your children or others children if you teach. You can find the spiritual truths download in this blog post: Teaching Spiritual Truths To Children

Not just that, but today I have another free download for you. This week I am offering another audio teaching from the book Say Goodbye to Whining, Complaining, and Bad Attitudes, In You and Your Kids. The first audio that I offered was focused on resolving sibling conflict and it touched a little on honor, but this audio is focused on honor.

teach honor

 

To download this audio teaching just click here: Honor, the Secret Ingredient for Family Life

Please don’t pass up these opportunities to download these teaching and parenting tools. Trust me they are well worth your time.

 

 

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Never

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Today I will be teaching the kids in my children’s ministry Romans 12:9-21. I believe this is one of the most life applicable passages of Scripture within the Bible. In our modern western world of christendom many of us just want to life apply the “my God will supply all my needs” but passages like this one here in Romans… ummmmm not so much.

I just did a quick word search on the word never in Scripture. If my quick search proved accurate, then right here in Romans 12 is the only time in Scripture when we are commanded to never do something. Now don’t get me wrong, there are lots of “do not” commands. There are lots of responses to wrong theology with a “May it never be!“.

But as for a command that pertains for life application… for one on one real life living in a fallen world with fallen people… we have here in Romans 12 two very powerful nevers.

The first:

Never pay back evil for evil to anyone. 

Respect what is right in the sight of all men.

Romans 12:17

Never pay back evil for evil to anyone.

Never.

Not one.

The word evil here in the Greek is kakos and it means evil, bad, in the widest sense. Which means there is absolutely no room for a “but they…”

God says never apodidómi or pay back, return, give back, or render as due evil for evil to anyone. 

Did you get that? Render as due…  Even if you think it is due them… God says never. He then tells us what we are to do… that’s one of the wonderful things about our God and His word… He doesn’t just tell us what not to do. He also tells us what to do instead. This is a lesson we as parents need to remember to apply to our own children. God doesn’t leave us hanging on a never or don’t, He places underneath our feet a firm foundation of action to walk in and on.

Respect what is right in the sight of all men. This word respect is pronoeó and it means take thought for beforehand, provide for, practice, showing necessary forethought to act properly (in God’s will).

The phrase what is right is kalos and it means beautiful, as an outward sign of the inward good, noble, honorable character; good, worthy, honorable, noble, and seen to be so, attractively good; good that inspires (motivates) others to embrace what is lovely (beautiful, praiseworthy); i.e. well done so as to be winsome (appealing).

And now here is the kicker… the word all.

The word all in this verse is pas and it means all, the whole, every kind of.

Every. Kind. Of.

Are you picking up what God is putting down?

Even if someone has done evil to you. Even if someone is doing and giving evil toward you in the widest sense of the word… don’t give it back… even if they deserve it… do not return it. Instead take careful consideration of what this person finds good, honorable, noble… and respond to them properly… no matter who they are or what they have done.

This brings us to our next never

Never take your own revenge, beloved, but leave room for the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,” says the Lord. But if your enemy is hungry, feed him, and if he is thirsty, give him a drink; for in so doing you will heap burning coals on his head.”

Romans 12:19:20

For when He was persecuted He blessed.

When He was reviled He respected.

When He was mocked He mourned.

When He was hurt He healed.

When He was cursed He comforted.

When He was hated He loved…

Love never fails.

1 Corinthians 13:8

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April’s Autism Awareness (the marriage)

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In today’s Autism Awareness post through the life Alex Kallas, his mother, Andrea, shares with us the effects of autism on a marriage…

Day 11 of Autism Awareness Month: How it Affects a Marriage

I apologize that I missed a few days. The flu bug decided to take me and Alex down, and I finally feel like sitting at the computer and typing for a few minutes. Today I am focusing on how Autism affects a marriage. When Alex was diagnosed, Erik and I were told that 80% of couples that have a child with Autism divorce. EIGHTY PERCENT!!! That was very scary. First, your child gets this diagnosis that breaks your heart and then you hear that most couples don’t come out of it together.

As I look back over the last 6 years since Alex was diagnosed with Autism, I can see where the divorce rate could be higher. Autism is financially and emotionally draining, and that just adds to the strains that are typically put on a marriage. When you add how differently men and women typically handle situations, it is tough!

I am a very emotional person. I cry when I am hurt and when I hurt for others. There have been times that I have laid on the bathroom floor in the fetal position crying and crying about how I want things to be “normal”. Erik doesn’t understand those moments. He is more analytical and realistic. His thoughts are we have been dealt this hand and we need to accept it and move on. Needless to say, we have had some issues over the past few years. And that statistic seemed to always pop into my head. I decided a long time ago that we were not going to allow that statistic to take place in our family – I think we both did.

When you have a child with Autism, there is often one parent who is more involved in overseeing the diet, therapy, etc. I am that person in our family. And to be honest, I wouldn’t have it any other way. However, when you are that person and you deal with Autism every minute of the day, you can have some resentment build up towards the other spouse. And yes, that happened with us. I remember when Annika was just four or so months old, I was at my breaking point. I had a four month old, a 19 month old, and a four year old who required an enormous amount of my time. I had been getting little sleep, and I was overwhelmed.

I was tired – tired of spending hours doing therapy with Alex and researching diets and other treatments, tired of trying to be a good mom to Lincoln and my new baby girl, Annika, when I wasn’t giving them near enough attention, tired of acting like we were the perfect family, and tired of fighting with Erik. At that point, I think we were both afraid that we were going to be in the majority. We were letting Autism and our “life” come between us – we weren’t taking the time that we needed for our relationship.

It was at this time that we got involved with some couples at Thompson Station Baptist Church. I believe these couples were sent to us to help save our marriage. We started the study “Fireproof Your Marriage”, and we were given contact information to a Christian marriage counselor in the area. I am not going to say it was easy – the counselor told us at one point that we are wasting our money if we didn’t start working on our marriage. He was right. Something finally clicked, and we decided we didn’t want to be in the majority. We fought to get back our relationship and to start being a team again.

Has it been easy? No. Life isn’t easy, and we are often thrown curve balls. I am sure some people would ask why I would share the fact that we have had problems in our marriage. I do it because if we can help one couple decide it is worth it to fight for their marriage, then it is worth sharing. Autism isn’t easy. Marriage isn’t easy. But if you are willing to put God first and work through the tough times, you will come out on the other end much stronger. I am thankful for the couples that were brought into our lives when we needed them the most. They and our counselor allowed us to get back to a firm foundation. We had NO idea what laid ahead of us that next year. That is when we heard Alex had cancer, and I won’t even go into the statistics regarding the marriage when dealing with a child with cancer.

To be continued…

Autism awareness 11

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Romans Study For Kids (Romans 12:1-2)

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We begin our final section of the The Romans Study For Kids. We now are in part 5… the Service of Salvation!

We have just completed our study on the first eleven chapters of the book of Romans. Today we are beginning our last section of this very important book. Let’s do a quick review of our section outline. In Romans 1:1-15 we were introduced to who God used to write this book and who he was writing to. Then in Romans 1:16-17 we discovered why this book was written. The main theme of the book of Romans is to teach us that the righteous live by faith and the gospel is the power of salvation.

We titled our first section, The Need for Salvation. In Romans 1:1 – 3:20 God uses Paul to teach us our need for salvation. He shows us why we all need saved, no matter who we are or where we came from.

Our next section was, The Way of Salvation. In Romans 3:21 – 5:21 God uses the writings of Paul to teach us that the only way of salvation is by faith in His Son, Jesus.

Our third section was, The Life of Salvation. In Romans 6:1 – 8:39 God uses the writings of Paul to teach us how we are alive in Christ. He teaches us how we become His children. He teaches us how His Holy Spirit lives in all His children and how His Spirit gives us power to live our new lives in a way that pleases God. He also teaches us that nothing will ever separate us from God once we are His in Christ.

Our fourth section was, The Scope of Salvation. In Romans 9:1 – 11:36 God uses Paul’s writings to teach us that He is sovereign, or in total control, of who is saved. He also teaches us that He is not done with the people of Israel. God will never break His promises to us and He will never break His promises to Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and the children of Israel. He is going to graft them back in to His family one day very soon.

We closed section four with one of my favorite passages in the whole Bible:

Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and unfathomable His ways! For who has known the mind of the Lord, or who became His counselor? Or who has first given to Him that it might be paid back to him again? For from Him and through Him and to Him are all things. To Him be the glory forever. Amen. 

(Romans 11:33-36)

God uses this passage of Scripture to close up all of what Paul has written about salvation and God’s sovereignty and God’s ways. It’s perfect because it reminds us that it is okay if we don’t understand all of this yet. It’s okay if what God says doesn’t make sense to our human mind. It’s okay, because He is God and we just need to trust Him and take Him at His word.

Now after these first eleven chapters on all the why’s, and explanations, and teachings, that God gives us about our sin and His salvation we come to Romans 12 and our last section of study, The Service of Salvation.

Now that we know the need, the way, the life, and the scope of our salvation… we need to know how we live it out in our every day lives and within His church. God uses Paul to teach us this in Romans 12 – 16.

Are you ready?

Let’s go!

Romans 12:1-2 

1 Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship.

And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.

 

Read Romans 12:1. What word does this verse begin with?

__ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __

Do you remember what we have learned about this word? If there is a “therefore”, we need to know what the “therefore” is there for!

I believe this “therefore” is connecting us all the way back to everything we learned in the first eleven chapters. Let’s look at the rest of the verse to see why I believe what I do :-)

 

Read all of Romans 12:1. 

What does Paul urge us to present to God as a living and holy sacrifice?

our __ __ __ __ __ __

 

What does Paul say this is?

spiritual __ __ __ __ __ __ __  of __ __ __ __ __ __ __

 

From what you learn in this verse how much of you does God want? Circle your answer.

all of you       some of you     just a little of you

 

Listen to this version of the Hokey Pokey and think about what all you have learned in the book of Romans and especially this first verse of chapter 12.

In this song we sing that we give our hearts to Jesus and we give Him our hands, our feet, our head, our whole selves. When we give our hearts to Jesus we give Him everything. We worship Him with our hearts, our minds, and our bodies. God wants what we think, what we say, what we do, and where we go all to be for Him. He wants all of us to honor Him.

 

Read Romans 12:2. What are we not to be conformed to? 

do not be conformed to this __ __ __ __ __

 

What does it mean to be “conformed”? Take a moment to look up the word conformed in a dictionary. Write done what you learned.

___________________________________________________________

 

Why would God not want us to be conformed to the world? Look up and read John 12:31, John 16:11, Ephesians 6:12, and 1 John 5:19. Who is the ruler of this world?

Satan         President Obama      Superman

 

Look back and read Romans 8:29. Who does God want us to be conformed to?

__ __ __ __ __

 

Read Romans 12:2. What are we to be instead of being conformed?

__ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __

 

THINK ABOUT IT…

The word “transformed” in the Greek is metamorphoó. This Greek word might sound familiar to you. Have you ever studied what happens when a caterpillar becomes a butterfly? 

What is this called? 

Yes, metamorphous! 

Below is a picture of a caterpillar.

caterpillar melonheadz colored

 

During the process of metamorphous this caterpillar is transformed into a butterfly. The caterpillar becomes a whole new creation. It used to be a worm like creature that could not get off the earth… and then after being transformed it becomes a beautiful butterfly that can now fly!  

Now color in the butterfly below in all your favorite colors!

butterfly to color

                      

Read Romans 12:2 again. How are you transformed? 

by the __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ of your __ __ __ __

Before we know Jesus our minds are full with all the things of the world. We live in the world everyday. We see television shows and movies. We listen to songs. We go to school and hear things from other kids and learn things from school books that may or may not be true. What goes in our eyes and ears goes into our mind and into our heart and becomes our belief system which then controls our actions.

What has God given us so that our eyes and ears can be filled with what He says is true?

bibleforbulletinboards

The  __ __ __ __ __

 

What does Romans 12:2 say we will know if we renew our mind with God’s word? Circle all that apply.

will of God                      what is good

our favorite color             who we will marry

what is acceptable                 what is perfect

what the weather will be like

God tells us in Isaiah 55:8-9 that His thoughts and His ways are not our thoughts and our ways. He also tells us in Proverbs 3:5-6 that we are not to lean on our own understanding but to trust in Him. The only way that we can learn what God’s thoughts and ways are is for us to read His Word, the Bible. He has recorded for us His thoughts and His ways and not only that He sent Jesus to come and show us His thoughts and His ways. Remember that John 1:1-3 and 14 teaches us that the Word became flesh and dwelt among us.

That’s enough for today! 

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The Last Adam

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 So also it is written, “The first man, Adam, became a living soul.”

The last Adam became a life-giving spirit.

1 Corinthians 15:45

Last March my family visited the Creation Museum in Kentucky with our church. This museum is designed to teach the Biblical account of creation through scientific evidence. The building is filled with huge dinosaurs, artifacts, and theaters. They do a wonderful job of making this place fun and educational for the entire family.

In one of the theaters they played a short film entitled The Last Adam. This film was so powerful that it kept even our 1st graders still and mesmerized.

We are approaching the Easter season. The season where we remember the death, burial, and resurrection of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. The One who left the glory of heaven and put on flesh so that He might dwell among us. The One who lived among and loved us even when we questioned Him, mocked Him, denied Him…

The One who died for sins He never committed… because He was the only One who could and rise again. He took on our iniquities so that in His life we might have life. The first Adam brought death to all mankind. The last Adam… brought eternal life.

For since by a man came death, by a man also came the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ all will be made alive.

1 Corinthians 15:21-22

Answers in Genesis is offering an Easter special until April 30… but until April 14th you can download The Last Adam for free. I have downloaded my copy. I plan to play it this coming Sunday during my children’s church time.

Special FREE Video Download
The Last Adam MP4

last adam

Use code EASTER20

Download | Forward to a friend

Reminder: Available only until April 14, 2014.

I also am an affiliate with AiG… you can find more Easter savings here:

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