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Engaging the Enemy

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I have been a published author since 2010. Let me tell you, this author gig is a tough business. If you don’t already have a “stage” in this world… or a long list of capitalized initials behind or in front of your name… your books just kind of sit in a box in your office.

I remember when my daughter was in public school and she was telling one of her teachers about my first book and the teacher said she wanted her to bring her one… when my daughter did and told her what she owed for the book, the woman told her she didn’t want it. My daughter handed the book back to me and was in tears as she told me of the encounter…

I am just a woman from a small town who married young and started out marriage with a family who fell in love with Jesus Christ and His Word… and was given as a gift of the Spirit of God the ability to teach and speak the Scriptures. Trust me it’s not me… it’s all Him.

I have spent the last four years giving away as many books as I could afford to buy, because my heart for writing them was always to share the Word of God and tell of the amazing scarlet thread that flows from Genesis to Revelation and to teach others how the beautiful Gospel of Christ is woven into the Law of God.

Biblical literacy is my heart’s cry for all who profess the name of Christ…

My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge. Because you have rejected knowledge, I also will reject you from being My priest. Since you have forgotten the law of your God, I also will forget your children.

Hosea 4:6

Now let me share with you how I was able to actually put these books into production…

When the Lord led me to write and submit Devotions From Genesis, It’s Not Just Ancient History my husband and I were barely making ends meat. The economy had plummeted and my husband had lost half his income (but not his job thanks to the amazing company that he works for) and I was a full time homeschooling momma. You can hear a little of that journey here: Money Matters.

When the Publishers sent in their acceptance of my manuscript, they also sent in the price tag it would cost for its publication. This price was not something my husband and I could afford.

So I resounded to be flattered by the acceptance and move on with our lives.

When my Daddy heard about my refusal to go forward due to the cost, he sat down and wrote me out a check to cover the publication and production cost. You see my parents believed in me and they believed that God had a plan for this book and this series. Had my Dad not helped me with Devotions From GenesisDevotions From Exodus Part One, Learning to Live in Freedom, would never had happened.

My Daddy has always been there for me…

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Yep there’s me in my high chair celebrating my Daddy’s birthday. I think anyway. There are too many candles on that cake for it to be mine ;-)

And here he is getting ready to walk me down the aisle…

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Now here’s where the enemy comes in…

Three weeks ago my Daddy was diagnosed with lung cancer. The cancer is in his rib, collar bone, lungs, lymph nodes, adrenal glands, and tailbone. As best that we can tell, the cancer has invaded every week point in my Daddy’s body. In my Daddy’s life he had several bouts with pneumonia, had been thrown out of the back of a truck as a child and broke his collar bone, he broke his tailbone while building our house, he pulled muscles in his chest at work, and also fractured a rib. The cancer has found all these places of weakness and has attacked.

Isn’t that just what that slippery serpent from the pits of hell does. He seeks out where we are weak and he waits in the darkness as he evaluates his perfect strategic attack on us… but though he attacks our weakness this is what we know that our God has said to us:

And He has said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.” Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me. Therefore I am well content with weaknesses, with insults, with distresses, with persecutions, with difficulties, for Christ’s sake; for when I am weak, then I am strong.

2 Corinthians 12:9-11

My dad started treatments last week. So far there have not been many outward signs of the inward battle he is actively engaged in. However, today that changed. Today I received a text letting me know that the chemo was having its effect on my Daddy’s body.

So for those of you who see my Daddy on a regular basis… he will look a little different the next time you see him. As I shared this news with my husband he reminded me that my Daddy was in a battle… a real one… and in real battles we walk away with scars… and this was just a scar to show the evidence that my Daddy was indeed fighting.

Not only does this battle come with scars… it also comes with a price. Here is where you can help me if you will…

Do you remember that check that my Daddy wrote that allowed the door to this ministry to be open? Well, my contract states that if I sell a certain number of copies of my book, in either paperback or ebook, I receive a full refund of my author’s publication cost. I would love to be able to receive this refund so that I can return the money to my Daddy.

My Daddy has always given freely to his children and supported us in every way and never expected anything in return. I hope you can understand my heart’s desire to be able to do this for him.

Will you help me?

If you already have purchased the books I need as many reviews as possible up on Amazon. I have asked for this many times, and now you know why… it has never been so that I could get my own show on TBN… or make the best sellers list. I have always just wanted to share the Word of God and to sell at least enough books to give back what was given to me… its a validation of sorts.

So if you could please leave a review here, Devotions From Genesis and/or here, Devotions from Exodus Part One. I would be ever so grateful!

I also have set up a Paypal account button here on the sidebar of my website so that anyone can purchase the paperback books at a discounted rate directly from me. If the PayPal isn’t working right just email me at nicolelhvaughn@yahoo.com and we can work out the payment and book exchange.

And if you are looking for a speaker for an event… would you prayerfully consider me? I don’t believe in charging a set fee for the sharing of the gospel… just traveling grace, the opportunity to offer my books, and after that just whatever the Lord stirs your heart to give.

If nothing else, will you share this post?

Sharing just costs a click…

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Don’t Forget The Stones

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I have been at my computer here a bit the last couple of days. We spent last week in Gulf Shores with our daughter as she battled in the USSSA 12U World Series and the wifi just wouldn’t hold up, so now I am playing catch up. As I sit here working on things and checking emails and answering calls and texts, I also am realizing that in three days I will be saying goodbye to my husband and daughter as they head to serve in Guatemala.

You know… I probably should be freaking out about now. But I ain’t.

Walking with the Lord is funny like that…

It’s amazing the way He is able to provide peace in the craziness of life. Tonight I will lead a lesson to our K – 5th grade kids about the sufficiency of Scripture. Tonight they will learn, or be reminded again, that God has provided us with His Word, not just for salvation but for help in our everyday struggles in this life.

His Word is filled with wisdom for us.

But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him.

James 1:5

I have an inkling that some people read this verse from James and pray that God would give them wisdom in a certain situation and then they just look up and wait for God to drop it in their head. I don’t believe that is quite what God had in mind when He inspired the half-brother of His Son to pen these words.

Do you know how you ask God for wisdom?

You open up His book and read it… and you don’t just read it but you dig into it. Have you ever misplaced something of value, maybe your wedding ring? Did you just glance around the house for it? Or did you flip over every couch cushion, grab a flash light and climb under the bed, crawl around on your hands and knees running your fingers through the carpet…etc? If we really want God’s wisdom and God’s answers for our life, we will search His Word like we would search for anything else of high value… that is if we truly value Him and His will for our life.

God has protected His Word for thousands of years and made it available in all type of forms and languages. He gives it generously, and He tells no one they can’t have it. It’s free and generously offered to all by Him. He doesn’t care who you are and He doesn’t care what state you are in when you open up His Word to seek Him… He will not withhold His wisdom from anyone who is sincerely seeking.

Because there’s even more to it if we want to receive of the wisdom of God…

But he must ask in faith without any doubting, for the one who doubts is like the surf of the sea, driven and tossed by the wind. For that man ought not to expect that he will receive anything from the Lord, being a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.

James 1:6-8

We have to be willing to take it as God said it… no but’s or what if’s… no waffling or wavering… no taking just a little of it and twisting and manipulating it to try and make God say what we think we want Him to say.

God doesn’t play like that… if we want to receive His wisdom we have to take it like it is.

There are things in life that may not make sense to us from our point of view. We may be wondering what in the world God is up to and try as we might we won’t figure it out here in this life and we might not even in the next… quite possibly we won’t even care or remember on the side of eternity.

For who has known the mind of the Lord, that he will instruct Him?

1 Corinthians 2:16

We have no ability or right to ever instruct God on the how’s or why of life… not ours and certainly not anyone else’s. This verse ends with this…

But we have the mind of Christ.

2 Corinthians 2:16

Think about that.

What on earth does that mean?

In John 15:15 Jesus says to His disciples…

No longer do I call you slaves, for the slave does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all things that I have heard from My Father I have made known to you.

In John 8:28-29 we read…

So Jesus said, “When you lift up the Son of Man, then you will know that I am He, and I do nothing on My own initiative, but I speak these things as the Father taught Me. And He who sent Me is with Me; He has not left Me alone, for I always do the things that are pleasing to Him.”

So what does it mean to have the mind of Christ?

It means we do nothing on our own initiative, but speak the things that God has taught us and we do the things that please our Heavenly Father. It means we don’t tell God what we need Him to do… but we wait for God to tell us what to do… and even if what He says is hard to hear, say, or do… we obey knowing that He is with us and never ever ever leaves us alone.

In one of my emails today I read this from Chuck Swindoll

Conquering giants isn’t accomplished without great skill and discipline. To be God’s warrior, to fight His way, demands much more expertise and control than one can imagine. Using the sling and stone of the Spirit is a far more delicate thing than swinging the club of the flesh. But oh, how sweet is the victory when the stone finds its mark . . . and how final.

Are you facing a giant?

Chances are you’ve already bumped into one or more of them this week. Is the intimidation reaching unbearable proportions? Do your ears ache from their constant threats? Don’t run . . . but don’t try a bigger club, either. Be like David. Turn your Goliath over to Jehovah, the giant-killer. Explain to your powerful God how anxious you are for Him to win this victory for a change—not the giant and not you.

Then load up your sling, soldier, and don’t forget the stones. You’re in for the time of your life.

I read this post and my mind immediately went to my family. It went to my Dad, my sister-in-law Phillis, and my father-in-law Jerry. All three of them are facing a Goliath called cancer. It went to my husband and daughter who will both be going on their first international mission trip. It went to my life as I submitted to what God was leading me to do, both in stepping down as Children’s Minister at our church and then out of the blue accepting the call to step into the Weekday Education Director over a preschool at a different church.

All these things have been bathed in prayer and oh how we have sought the wisdom of God concerning them. As I read the words, don’t forget the stones, I thought of what would have happened had David showed up that day with his sling and nothing but air to sling?

Nothing would have happened. Goliath would still stand taunting and ridiculing our Glorious God and striking fear into the hearts of His people.

It’s sad, because when I think of the people who are praying and asking God for help… but they never seek Him in His Word… that’s the same thing as if David had attempted to face Goliath without the stones.

So beloved, please, I beg you…

Don’t. Forget. The. Stones.

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A Study in Colossians

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I wrote this study through the book of Colossians as I was teaching through this book when my husband and I led the College and Career at our church. This study is written to take you through the book of Colossians verse by verse. It is written to help you dig into the book yourself. There is no denominational persuasion pushed within this study. The study is written to simply help you ask questions of the text as you dig into the Scriptures. There are suggestions for cross-references and word studies included.

 

Here are some sites I have found helpful as I study through the Word of God…

Biblegateway

Crosswalk

Bible Hub

 

As a reminder this study is written with the NASB translation. Below is your free downloadable copy…

A Study in Colossians

 

May the Lord bless you in the study of His Word!

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Romans Study For Kids (Romans 13:1-14)

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Today we will begin digging into Romans 13. In Romans 12 we were taught how we should respond to other Christians and also how we are to respond to those who are not Christians, even those who are mean to us just because we believe in Jesus. 

Now as we begin Romans 13 we are going to learn how God wants us to respond to the law of the land we are living in. This would include our school teachers, policemen, our Mayor, our Governor, all the way up to our President. This would include any place we went that had a list of rules or laws that were posted for us to follow.

Let’s begin!

Read Romans 13:1. How does this verse begin? Circle your answer.

Every person    Some persons   Few persons   No persons

According to Romans 13:1 who is in charge of establishing all authority everywhere for every person?

__ __ __

Does that mean that God chooses who leads what countries? Including the United States?

Yes        No         I Don’t Know

Look up and read Daniel 2:20-21. Who did Daniel learn removed and established kings?

__ __ __ 

That’s right! God does. In the Old Testament and in the New Testament, God is the One who decides who rules and when they rule. He is in control of the leaders of countries and He is in control of the leaders in your state, county, and city. He is even in control of the leaders in your school, church, and home.

Read Romans 13:2. If you resist the authority over you, who are you really against? Circle your answer.

no one       the Principal      your Dad        God

According to Romans 13:2 when you oppose the authority that God has put over you, who receives the condemnation, who gets in trouble? Draw a picture in the box below of your answer.

Read Romans 13:3-4 out loud. 

If you have access to a computer type this link in the URL bar and watch this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KqGrcTDUAe8

As you watched the video who was the authority over the driver of the car? Circle all that apply.

the kid cops    the stop sign    the passenger    God

That’s right! The kid cops, the stop sign, and God were all in authority over the driver of that car. 

Read Romans 13:3-4 again. Decide whether the statements below are True (T) of False (F).

____  Rulers make those with good behavior afraid.

____  If you do evil then the rulers will like you.

____  Authority is a minister of God for our good.

____  Authority is meant to punish those who do evil.

____  If you do good you have no reason to fear rulers.

____  You are supposed to be afraid of authority.

THINK ABOUT IT…

If the driver of the car had obeyed the stop sign and the law of the land would he have gotten a ticket? Would he have been pulled over? What did the driver do after he was pulled over? 

That’s right! He lied to the kid cops! He showed he knew the right thing to do by lying. He was not ignorant of the law, he just didn’t want to obey it. 

What could have happened had the driver continued in this evil behavior? 

That’s right! He could have caused a wreck that killed him, his passenger, or someone else. 

So was the authority(God, the kid cops, the stop sign)  over the driver that gave him the ticket there for the drivers good? Yes, the authority was there for the good of the driver and the good of everyone else. As long as a driver is obeying the signs and the laws then they have no reason to be afraid that the kid cops will pull them over and give them a ticket.

Read Romans 13:5. We are to submit to authority so that we will not be punished for disobeying and also for another reason. What is it? 

Use the verse to fill in the blanks with your answer.

for  __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __’  sake 

THINK ABOUT IT…

We learned about our conscience when we were studying in Romans 2. How does it make you feel when you know you are doing something that is against the rules? 

Are you doing it in freedom or fear? 

When you have disobeyed your parents do you want to be around them or do you try to stay away from them.

How do you think this compares with God? When we choose to disobey God’s Word do we want to come to church and spend time with Him reading the Bible or do we want to stay away from church and our Bibles? 

Read Romans 13:6. Have you ever heard your parents talk about paying taxes? 

Yes         No         I don’t know

Read Romans 13:6 again. What does this verse say about the rulers over us?

they are  __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __  of  __ __ __ 

How do these rulers, these servants of God, get the funds they need to rule? Ask your parents how our mayors, governors, firemen, policemen, and even our teachers get paid. 

That’s right. Taxes.

Read Romans 13:7. In this verse we are given pretty clear instructions to pay what we owe. Even if we don’t think we should owe it. Use the verse to fill in the blanks.

__ __ __ to whom __ __ __ is due

__ __ __ __ __ __ to whom __ __ __ __ __ __

__ __ __ __ to whom __ __ __ __

__ __ __ __ __ to whom __ __ __ __ __

Look up and read Matthew 22:15-22. What did Jesus have to say about paying taxes, even to a bad ruler? Answer True (T) or False (F) to the statements below.

___ If the ruler is mean we do not have to pay taxes

___ Give to the ruler what belongs to the ruler

___ Give to God what belongs to God

___ God doesn’t care if you pay your taxes

Read Romans 13:8. As a Christian what is the only thing we are to owe anyone?

__ __ __ __

Do we honor God by honoring the laws of our land?

Yes            No          I don’t know

Yes, we honor God when we honor the laws of our land. We show ourselves to be believers when we pay our taxes and respect the authority that is in place over us. That does not mean we have to agree with all the laws or the rulers, it just means we trust that God has allowed them to rule for a reason. We may not understand it, but that is okay. As long as the rulers are not asking us to commit a sin against what God has commanded in His Word we are to obey them. 

Read Romans 13:8 again. What is the one thing we can do to make sure we keep the law of God and the law of our land? Circle your answer.

go to law school       love our neighbor      stay home

Read Romans 13:9. What did God give us so that we would know how to love our neighbor?

The  Ten  __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __

Look up and read Exodus 20:1-17. 

The first four commandments teach us how to love God. The next six commandments teach us how to love one another.

Look up and read Matthew 19:16-19. Is this list of commandments given by Jesus similar to what you read in Romans 13:9?

Yes             No           I don’t know

Read Romans 13:10. How is love the fulfillment of the law?

Love does no  __ __ __ __ __  to a neighbor

You might be wondering right now… Who is my neighbor? Well Jesus has our answer for that question too!

Look up and read Luke 10:25-37.

If you have access to the internet type this into the URL search bar and watch one more kid cop video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yziMNt1rBk4


Was the Litterer showing love to his neighbors or was he doing wrong to his neighbors? 

What would he have done differently had he been choosing to love his neighbor?

THINK ABOUT IT…  

Are there things that you need to be doing doing differently? 

Do you honor your parents? 

Do you respect your teachers at school? 

Are you kind to the other kids in class?

Do you take things from others that don’t belong to you?

If you can answer yes to questions like these, then spend some time with Jesus right now and talk to Him about it. 

Read Romans 13:11-13. Why is it so important that we do the things that God has told us to do? Circle all that apply.

Jesus is coming again and we want to be ready

Each day that passes means Jesus is closer

The night is almost gone and the day is near

We don’t know what will happen tomorrow so we need to tell others about Jesus today.

If Jesus lives inside of us we should show Him to others by what we do on the outside.

Read Romans 13:14. Who are we to put on?

__ __ __ __ __ 

How do we put on Jesus? Look up and read Galatians 3:27, Ephesians 4:22-24, Colossians 3:12.

THINK ABOUT IT…

When we are saved it is like we have taken off dirty clothes that we have worn playing in the mud. We lay those dirty muddy clothes to the side and most likely are sprayed down with the water hose outside and then get into a shower and are bathed clean. Now after we are all clean do we bend down and climb back into those dirty muddy clothes?

No, we put on a new clean set of clothes. Now do those clothes just jump on you?

No, we have to slide our arms and legs in them. We are part of the putting on of those clothes. Just like that, we are supposed to be a part of purposely putting on Jesus. We put Him on by sliding our arms into his and our legs into His and being His hands and feet. Living our lives in and through Him. 

Close your eyes now and picture yourself climbing into Him and putting Jesus on.

How would this change the choices you make? How would this change the games you play? The movies you watch? The music you listen to? The way you treat others?

Read Romans 13:14 again. What are we not to make any provisions for?

the  __ __ __ __ __

Go back and read Romans 8:3-9 and Galatians 5:19-21. Why do we not want to make provision for our flesh? 

the flesh is hostile to  __ __ __

those who practice the things of the flesh will not inherit the __ __ __ __ __ __ __ of __ __ __

Remember that everything that we are learning in Romans 12 – 16 is hooked up to that big engine of what we learned in Romans 1 – 11. 

God does not ask of us what He does not enable us to do. If God has commanded it, we can accomplish it in Him. 

Look up and read Philippians 4:13. This is another good verse to memorize. Get an index card and write this verse on it and keep it with you. Maybe even see if your mom will write it on the bathroom mirror with a dry erase marker so you can see it every day.

Now what are some things that you know that Jesus has asked you to do and you keep telling Him that you can’t? 

Are you talking back to your parents or teachers? 

Are you in a habit of saying mean things to others?

Do you lie about things you have done wrong or blame others for it?

Talk to Jesus about these things and to your parents and ask Jesus to help you do the right things… I promise you He will help!

 

 

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Worry… Why Do I Let Myself Worry

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Praise the Lord!
For it is good to sing praises to our God;

Psalm 147:1

There are days when the thought of worrying about anything seems really a futile thing… then there are days when I realize that I have been worrying like crazy and didn’t even realize it because the worry is more like a trickling stream hidden in the deep crevices of an underground cave. This morning I awoke and as I began down the steps my mind immediately went to asking the Lord why…

Why are there those that live their lives purposely hurting others and they appear to skip through life unscathed and then their are those who are so very loved and seek to live their lives not for their own sake but for the sake of others and then one day they awake to find their lives under attack.

We can look at Psalm 73 and other places in the Scriptures and find that we have been asking God all the “why’s” of life for generations…

As I was walking down the stairs I so badly wanted to have a temper tantrum fit with my Heavenly Father… but He simply would not let me. I hear Him whisper every so gently in my heart…

 young lady, you are too big for that and you know better

<insert deep breathe and sigh here>

So I made my coffee and prepared my morning sugar and carb fix and sat down at my desk and immediately the words, It is well… began to sing in my head.

Yes Lord, I know. It is well with my Daddy’s soul.

I know. 

I do.

I know it is well with my soul… but that doesn’t make this present time any less scary for us.

Then I felt Him lift my eyes to the calendar on the wall. I noticed today’s date and my Jesus said, Psalm 147.

Have you ever just wanted to roll your eyes at God in that head-shaking-smiling-okay-I-get-it kind of way? I do quite often, especially when I let myself worry and He gently reminds me that worry profits nothing and besides have I forgotten that He is the One who counts the stars and gives names to each of them. Have I forgotten that He’s the One who provides rain for the earth and makes the grass grow on the mountains. Have I forgotten that He’s the One that makes sure the smallest sparrow and the largest has their food. Have I forgotten that He’s the One that causes the wind to blow and the waters to flow.

I have spent that last thirty minutes reading and re-reading Psalm 146, Psalm 147Psalm 148, and Psalm 149 and so just as in the Psalm of Asaph (Psalm 73) I find myself once again at rest in His strong sovereign arms of mercy and grace and I pray that those who are facing similar fears are able to find their way there as well.

When my heart was embittered
And I was pierced within,
Then I was senseless and ignorant;
I was like a beast before You.
Nevertheless I am continually with You;
You have taken hold of my right hand.
With Your counsel You will guide me,
And afterward receive me to glory.

Whom have I in heaven but You?
And besides You, I desire nothing on earth.
My flesh and my heart may fail,
But God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.

Psalm 73:21-26

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Romans Study For Kids (PDF Download)

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Here are the downloadable pdf files for the Romans Study For Kids Part One, Two, Three, and Four.

These cover Romans 1 – 11.

I will upload Romans Study For Kids Part Five, which will cover Romans 12-16, as soon as it is completed. Please excuse any typo’s and/or misspelled words. I honestly have not went back through these and edited them.

May these be a blessing for your family!

Romans Study for Kids Part One

Romans Study For Kids Part Two

Romans Study For Kids Part Three

Romans Study For Kids Part Four

 

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Romans Study For Kids (Romans 12:9-21)

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We are continuing our study in Romans as we dig into Romans 12:9-21… remember this study is meant to be used with the NASB translation.

 

Read Romans 12:9. What does this verse want our love to be without. 

__ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __

The word hypocrisy comes from the Greek word hupokrinomai and it means to act the part, pretend, to answer, reply, to answer on a stage. So if God wants our love to be without hypocrisy, that means He doesn’t want it to be pretend, fake, or for show. He wants it to be real and true. 

Read Romans 12:9 again and use the verse to fill in the blanks.

__ __ __ __ __  what is  __ __ __ __

__ __ __ __ __ to what is __ __ __ __

THINK ABOUT IT…

What is something you might abhor… maybe brussels sprouts? 

Well you should abhor evil just like you abhor brussels sprouts.

What is something you cling to? Do you have a favorite blanket, pillow, or stuffed animal? 

Well you should cling to good just like you cling to these favorite things.  

In Romans 12:10-13 Paul give us a list of practical instructions on how we can “abhor what is evil and cling to what is good” as it relates to our brothers and sisters in Christ. If you are a Christian these instructions are for you. So let’s look at each one.

Read Romans 12:10-13 and fill in the blanks making these instructions personal to you.

I am to be __ __ __ __ __ __ __ to other believers in 

__ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __  love

I am to give __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ to others in

__ __ __ __ __

I am not to lag behind in __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __

I am to be __ __ __ __ __ __ __ in spirit 

I am to __ __ __ __ __ the __ __ __ __

I am to __ __ __ __ __ __ __ in __ __ __ __

I am to __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ in tribulation

I am to be __ __ __ __ __ __ __ to __ __ __ __ __ __

I am to __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ to the needs of  the saints

I am to practice __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __

Now we are going to look at Romans 12:14-21. These verse teach us how we are to treat all people. Not just other Christians and not just people who are nice to us. These verses teach us how we are supposed to respond to people who are even mean to us. That’s right. Even people who hurt us.

Read Romans 12:14. How are we supposed to respond to people who persecute us? Circle the correct answer.

Bless them              Curse them            Do nothing

Read Romans 12:15. Use the verse to fill in the blanks.

I am to __ __ __ __ __ __ __ with those who rejoice.

I am to __ __ __ __ with those who weep.

THINK ABOUT IT… 

Have you ever seen someone crying because they fell down? Should we laugh at that person for falling or check on them?

Have you ever tried really hard to win a game, but lost? Should we be mad at the person who won, or should we be happy for them and celebrate with them?

Read Romans 12:16 and answer the questions below.

What kind of mind should you have toward others? Circle the correct answer.

Be of the ( same , different ) mind toward one another

What kind of mind are we NOT to have?

__ __ __ __ __ __ __

THINK ABOUT IT…

Do you know what “haughty” means? Haughty means high. So God is telling us that we are not to be high minded, but we are to have the same mind toward others. 

If you are up high what must you do to see anything or anyone that is below you?

That’s right you have to look down. God does not want us to look down on others… no matter how “low” they might be. He wants us to always be on the same level with our eyes. 

Let me ask you. Are you as tall as your Mom or Dad? I bet not! So when they want to tell you something important do they say it from up high, or do they squat down or pull you up in their lap so that they can get on the same eye level as you? How does it make you feel when they do that? 

Read Romans 12:16 again. There is one more “do not” in this verse.

Do not be __ __ __ __ in your __ __ __ estimation.

THINK ABOUT IT…

Is God telling us that He does not want us to think we are smart? No, I don’t think so. The word “wise” in the context of this verse is from the Greek wordphrḗn, and it means “personal perspective regulating outward behavior.” This word is also the root word of our English term “diaphragm” which controls key body functions from the inside out. This word “wise” in Romans 12:16 is talking about how we size things up. It is all about our own personal opinions. This is about thinking we know better than God. 

Look up and read the following verses:

Proverbs 3:5-7

Proverbs 12:15

Proverbs 26:12

Proverbs 30:24-28

THINK ABOUT IT…

Did you notice in Proverbs 30 that the four things were small, but still exceedingly wise? True wisdom doesn’t come with age or with being a grown up… it comes from God and trusting His Word over our own thoughts and feelings.

Now let’s read Romans 12:17 and answer the following questions.

What does this verse tell us NEVER to do? Circle your answer.

pay back evil for evil           cross your eyes   

stare at the sun                go swimming after eating

Who does it say to never do this to? Circle your answer.

family         friends          enemies         anyone

What does this verse tell us we should do? Fill in the blanks with the answer.

__ __ __ __ __ __ __ what is right in the __ __ __ __ __ of __ __ __ men.

Now that word “all” in the Greek is pas it means all, the whole, every kind of. 

In Romans 12:17 God is letting us know that no matter who it is we are to be considerate of them and what they believe is right. We will never win anyone to Christ through being mean to someone or making fun of what they believe.

Now let’s read Romans 12:18. How does God expect us to behave towards other people?

be at __ __ __ __ __ with __ __ __  men

How did Romans 12:18 began? Circle the correct answer.

Always must         If possible         Never will

Now read Romans 12:18 again. Whose behavior are you responsible for?

Every ones       No ones        My own

What part of Romans 12:18 tells us this?

as far as it depends on __ __ __

THINK ABOUT IT…

Is God saying it is always your fault if someone wants to fight with you? No, He is not. Some people, especially when you tell them about sin and what Jesus did for them, will become angry. Our job as a believer is to not start fights on purpose. We are to respect all people no matter what they believe. However, we are still to be willing and ready to share what we believe too even if it does make someone angry.

Read Romans 12:19 and answer the following questions.

What should we do if people are mean to us and hurt us or someone we love?

__ __ __ __ __ take your own __ __ __ __ __ __ __

Whose job is it to get back at those who have hurt us or those we love? Circle your answer.

your Dad’s           Underdog’s            God’s

Read Romans 12:20 to answer true (T) or false (F) to the statements below.

_____ If your enemy is hungry let them starve.

_____ If your enemy is thirsty give them a drink.

_____ If your enemy is thirsty drink in front of them.

_____ If your enemy is hungry then feed them

Read Romans 12:21. This last verse in this chapter summarizes everything that we have studied in this chapter. This is a good verse to memorize. 

“Do not be overcome with evil, but overcome evil with good.”

This is a good time to sit down and watch the movie The GodMan…

Jesus is our example in how not to be overcome with evil, but to overcome evil with good.

 

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Romans Study For Kids (Romans 12:3-8)

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Today in our Romans Study for Kids we will be digging into Romans 12:3-8… Remember this study is meant to go along with the NASB translation.

 

Read Romans 12:3 and answer the following questions.

What does Paul say to us who are believers in Jesus? 

not to __ __ __ __ __ more __ __ __ __ __ __ of himself  than he ought to think

How are we to think?

with __ __ __ __ __  judgment 

What has God allotted to each of us who are His?

a  __ __ __ __ __ __ __  of  __ __ __ __ __ 

Who allots it and measures it out?

The Pastor       We do       God       Your Mother

What word does Romans 12:3 begin with?

__ __ __

The word “for” in this verse is used as a conjunction. Do you know what a conjunction is?

A conjunction is a connecting word. This word is used to connect a train of thought.

train20

To find out what the “for” in Romans 12:3 is connecting to we have to look at the verses that come before it. Read Romans 12:1-2 again.

 

train_073

 

Romans 12:1 begins with the word “Therefore”. This word is also a connecting word. We can say that Romans 12 is being driven and pulled by the verses that come before it. That big engine represents all that you learned in Romans 1 – 11. 

The first box car behind it represents Romans 12:1-2. Write Romans 12:1 in the space above the boxcar and color your boxcar.

 

train_coloring_at_coloring-pages-book-for-kids-boys

 

Now Romans 12:3 is the next boxcar. The one connected to the Romans 12:1-2 boxcar. Write Romans 12:3 in the space above the boxcar and color your boxcar.

 

train_coloring_at_coloring-pages-book-for-kids-boys

 

Read Romans 12:4-5. What does this verse begin?

__ __ __

That’s right! Another connecting word. Let’s add another boxcar. Write Romans 12:4-5 in the space above the boxcar and color your boxcar.

 

train_coloring_at_coloring-pages-book-for-kids-boys

 

Now read Romans 12:1-5 all together and picture in your mind how the therefore’s and for’s all connect in one train of thought being pulled by the engine of Romans 1 – 11. As we study through the rest of Romans you can imagine that all that you learn is hooking up to this Romans 1-11 engine.

 

train20

 

Now to get back to Romans 12:3-5.

Do you remember what you learned in Romans 6:3-7? When we believe the gospel it is like we were placed in Christ’s body and we died on the cross with Him, we were buried in the tomb with Him, and we rose from the dead with Him. We became a part of His body.

Look up and read 1 Corinthians 12:27. Use the verse to fill in the blanks below.

Now __ __ __  are Christ’s  __ __ __ __,  and individually __ __ __ __ __ __ __  of  __ __.

If we are members of Christ’s body how important is it that we present our bodies as a living and holy sacrifice to God?

kind of important      not important     very important

THINK ABOUT IT…

Is there any part of your body that you would want to do without? Or is every part of your body needed? 

Let’s say you no longer have thumbs. Will you notice that they are missing? Are your thumbs just as important to you as your feet? 

Try this. 

Get some tape or a piece of cloth and tie or tape down your thumbs. See how long you can go without needing them.

Romans 12:3-5 teaches us that when God makes us a part of the body of Christ we are given a gift to serve in this body. This gift is given to us by the Holy Spirit that comes to dwell in us when we are saved (Romans 8:9). We don’t pick our gifts, God does. 

 

 

As you watched this video from Tinkerbell did Tinkerbell choose her gift or is her gift chosen for her?

That’s right. She didn’t pick her gift. In the same way, we don’t pick our gift in the body of Christ either. God does. 

 

In this video Tinkerbell decides she doesn’t like her gift and she is going to try and learn to do another gift instead. How did it work out for her?

It didn’t. No matter how hard she tried she could not do the other gifts right. They were not her gifts. 

She needed to learn how to use her gift to the best of the measure that had been allotted her.

Read Romans 12:6-8 and see if what you learned from Tinkerbell helps you to understand what God is teaching us in these verses.

What does Romans 12:6 say about our gifts?

they differ        they are the same   

How do they differ?

according to the __ __ __ __ __ given us

Who gives us grace?

__ __ __

What different gifts are listed in Romans 12:6-8?

__ __ __ __ __ __ __ __

__ __ __ __ _i_ _n_ _g_

__ __ __ __ __ _i_ _n_ _g_

__ __ __ __ __ __ _i_ _n_ _g_      

__ __ __ _i_ _n_ _g_

__ __ __ __ _i_ _n_ _g_

showing  __ __ __ __ __

 

 

 

What happened when Tinkerbell stopped trying to do the jobs that she was not gifted to do and started giving her best to the gift that she was given?

That’s right! All the fairies were able to work together using their own special gifts to bring spring. 

When we each do what God has gifted us to do then the whole body of Christ works together to bring glory to the kingdom of God. 

That’s enough for now! Next we will dig into Romans 12:9-21.

 

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Let Them Give Thanks

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Oh give thanks to the Lord, for He is good,
For His lovingkindness is everlasting.

Psalm 107:1

Last night in the children’s class that I was leading at our church I was going over the kids memory verse for the second half of their study. The verse is Psalm 33:4,

What the Lord says is right and true. He is faithful in everything He does.

As I went over this NIRV translation of the verse with the kids the Lord zeroed in within my heart the word everything. In the translation that I regularly use (I stick with the NASB for continuity in my writing and if I use another translation I let you know) the verse reads, For the word of the Lord is upright, and all His work is done in faithfulness.

That word all (or everything) gets me every time.

I don’t know if you have figured it out yet, but I am a huge professor of the sovereignty of God, label me a Calvinist if you wish, paint a purple TULIP on my page, but all I know is that apart from Christ the Bible says we are dead… and dead men can’t save themselves.

So, for me, to accept the sovereignty of God in salvation is to accept it in all and everything else. He is either supreme or He is not. There is no democracy in the Kingdom of Heaven. There is One Lord, One King, One Creator, only one can be Most High.

I find great comfort that I can rest here in the arms of a Sovereign God. It is in this resting place that I find that I am able to give thanks in all things and at all times… even if it’s not an emotional joyful jumping happy thanks… it can be a take a deep breath with solemn trusting resolve thanks… and still be praise.

I give thanks in all things because I choose to trust in the Word of the Lord and the Word of the Lord says that He is faithful… in all His work… in everything He does.

Today is July 10th… the 10th day of the 7th month so I began my morning with Psalm 107 and here once again I read of the sovereignty and the faithfulness of my God.

This is one of my favorite Psalms.

As I read through this psalm my mind went to this song by Unspoken…

I don’t know where you are today… but I know the One who does.

Oh give thanks to the Lord, for He is good,
For His lovingkindness is everlasting.
Let the redeemed of the Lord say so,
Whom He has redeemed from the hand of the adversary
And gathered from the lands,
From the east and from the west,
From the north and from the south.

Psalm 107:1-3

He can reach you from anywhere… and if you have the slightest desire… the smallest inkling to call on His name… beloved there is only One who can awaken the dead enough to speak and feel and cause that aching in your chest that I like to call HOPE.

I started out this blog post with the intended direction of sharing of the place of trusting and resting and giving praise and thanks in the circumstances that my family is walking in because as I read through Psalm 107 I was reminded that their is no storm my Lord cannot calm and there is no storm that my God did not allow… and sometimes even cause

For He spoke and raised up a stormy wind,
Which lifted up the waves of the sea.
They rose up to the heavens, they went down to the depths;
Their soul melted away in their misery.
They reeled and staggered like a drunken man,
And were at their wits’ end.
Then they cried to the Lord in their trouble,
And He brought them out of their distresses.
He caused the storm to be still,

Psalm 107:25-29

…and although the storm can be scary, the storm is never without purpose, because our God does nothing without purpose. 

I for one am a girl who loves a good storm. The sound of the thunder and the flashes of lightening and the wind so powerful that it appears that the trees are going to break in half as the bows bend in its strength causes me to sit giddy at the window wishing I had a glass room that allowed me to be able to see it with no view obstructions. When I wait through an outside happening storm I sit and watch in awe anticipating the next lightning strike and wondering how loud the next thunder will sound… but when I face an internal one I find myself on the brink of despair… it’s crazy how things change like that.

When we are in the safety of the inside and watching the outside storm we can find the beauty and awe of the storm and even praise our Creator as we are mesmerized by His power, but when that storm rages within us we seem to so easily forget that our Creator is still there. We are still within the boundaries of His sovereign arm.

And in Your book were all written
The days that were ordained for me,
When as yet there was not one of them.

Psalm 139:16

He has ordained our days… whether they be sunshine and laughter or storms and tears… we must give thanks in all and everything because we know that He is faithful in all and everything and instead of complaining and wrongly feeling as though our God is against us… let us be ever more diligent to seek His face and know that He does nothing without purposeful intentions and to bring glory to His name.

Look for the glory.

Trust in His lovingkindness.

Stand firm in the faith even in the storm.

Give Him thanks.

Praise His holy name.

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Softball Sunday

confessions

This past Sunday my family did something that we never do. We allowed our thirteen year old to participate in a softball tournament that carried over into Sunday play. Had they won all their games on Saturday, they would not have played on Sunday until 1:30pm, that would be well after our church service was over.

This is possibly her last year to play and this girl loves to play… and she loves being a part of a team. As a matter of fact several years ago, she had gotten in trouble for something. I really do not remember what it was, but the punishment was given in option one and option two. One of those options was being grounded for the weekend which would include no softball. She immediately chose the other option, not because it was lesser punishment for her, but because she already knew that some of the other girls were going to be gone that weekend and if she didn’t play the team would have to forfeit the game. She was thinking of her team, not just herself.

My husband and I have purposefully attempted to instill within our girls a sense of responsibility and the importance of keeping your word and your commitments. She made a commitment to this team, to the people on this team, not to softball. She made a commitment to these other girls and to the coaches that for this season she would do her best for them and they could count on her to give them her best efforts.

shelby's team 1

She would use this season as an opportunity to display what it looks like to do all things as unto the Lord… even play softball.

Our two youngest daughters (Shelby and Rebekah) have spent the last several years of their life at church almost daily and until 9pm – 10pm on Sunday and Wednesday nights. Shelby has served every Sunday morning in the nursery for probably at least the last six months because of adults who did not find their commitment to this extended care team important enough to show up or adjust their schedule around it. So Shelby’s commitment and dedication to the church was not in question for us, nor was her commitment to the Lord and learning and growing in His Word.

See we’re the weird parents that teach our kids the Word of God at home. We begin the morning with an in-depth precept upon precept Bible study and end the night with a bedtime devo. We listen to Christ exalting music in the car and at home. We also homeschool, so even their studies of math, science, grammer, ext are centered around Christ and growing in the knowledge of the Lord.

So missing a Sunday to play in a tournament in no way dishonored their God. He didn’t take the back seat. His Word and the truths that they have learned from Him carried right onto the field. He was right there with her and the rest of our family.

If God comes first, He comes first everywhere. I have seen God take the backseat inside the church doors as much as outside them. If just attending church and sitting half asleep on a pew every Sunday is someone’s definition of putting God first, they need to look back through the Book. If God is first He is first everywhere and at all times.

Children should be taught the Word of God daily in their home. Children should be learning the Word of God from their parents in the home and parents shouldn’t just be depending on the preacher or the Sunday school teacher to do it.

Children also need to see the Book lived out.

My daughters got to see the Spirit of God at work this past Sunday… even at a Sunday softball tournament. God actually gave me the opportunity to do something that I haven’t had the opportunity to do for a very long time… to hear Him and experience once again the unction of His Holy Spirit. Oh how I have missed that sinking feeling of churning within my gut.

Life has been so “busy” the last few years that any time for a “distraction” wasn’t possible. I had to be here, and here, and here, and have this and that ready, and make sure so and so was taken care of… the freedom to be freely moved was non-existent. My brain was too cluttered and my heart was hurting.

On the way to the ball fields we listened to a pastor preach on the book of Esther and he shared about God’s purpose and God’s ability to use all people and all things to accomplish His purpose. He also shared about how the only people who were in a hurry in the book of Esther were the messengers. The messengers that first went out saying, “You’re gonna die!” as they carried Haman’s decree to the Jews of the land and then the messengers that went out saying “You don’t have to die!” as they carried out Esther and Mordecai’s decree to the Jews of the land.

As I listened I said a quick silent prayer in my heart for the Lord to allow me to be a messenger of His gospel and His Word… Because of Christ we don’t have to die.

We arrived at the fields and made our way up after that atrocious $7 gate fee and found some of our fellow waiting parents. Then after a conversation on the bleachers with several of the other mom’s on the team, as we waited for our turn to get the fence front row, about how weird it felt not being at church… and how even our kids were experiencing the “weirdness” of it… (this was not a normal regular occurrence for any of us) it was our turn to take the field and set our cheering chairs up.

Now on each of our girls jersey’s there is an orange ribbon…

shelby with trophy

These ribbons are in honor of a young boy in Priceville who goes to school and to church with some these girls and he is fighting leukemia.

Shelby brx

His name is Braxton… the girls are trying to spell out Brax with their bodies here after they won the County Championship.

Now as the girls took the field this past Sunday one of the women on the opposing team asked who the ribbon was for. One of our parents explained the ribbon and that’s when the woman shared that she was currently fighting brain cancer. When the game got started the mom who had spoken with the lady shared with me about their conversation… as I located the woman with my eyes my gut immediately began to stir and I felt the Spirit prompt me to go and pray with her.

God allowed me to share the gospel of Jesus Christ and pray with a stranger right there in the stands. I was able to use the prayer bracelet that my daughter Bekah had made me to share my family’s story and right then the woman’s arms were covered in chills and I asked her if I could pray over her… I don’t know if this woman knew the Lord… but if she didn’t I got to introduce him to her. The Lord allowed our team and my family’s story to be a reminder to this woman that she was not alone… and her name was Stacy… that’s my sister’s name… so guess what I won’t forget her name and will continue to lift her up before the Father by name.

As I returned to my chair, Bekah asked me what I was doing… and after I shared with her what I had done, her first words were “what color is brain cancer“.

God is good.

So for parents who have never done the Sunday ball thing, for parents who know the importance of not forsaking the assembly, for parents who are doing all they know to raise their girls in a God-centered home… what I saw that Sunday at the softball fields were people. People with problems and hurts and souls. People who loved their kids and were trying to support them in their dreams. People who needed the love of Christ.

Maybe, it might be a good idea for those of us who don’t find Sunday softball as a regular occurrence to not get upset because these people don’t come to us at church… and do what Christ commanded us to do and go to them.

They have cowboy church for the rodeo circuit… racing chaplains for the racing circuit, maybe it’s time to get a little red wagon full of Bibles and free waters and build a boom box on wheels blasting Tomlin and get a pop up shade tent with a cross monogrammed on it and hold Softball Sunday Services.

Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.

Matthew 28:19-20

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Ministry or Misery

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America is in the fast free falling process of seeing the family go down in flames. When I graduated high school in 1995 it was still pretty rare for the kids in my peer group to have parents who were divorced or to be a child born out of wedlock… possibly conceived out of wedlock, but usually born in. However within the next five to ten years that would change.

I remember the scare that went across America when we began to draw near to the new millennium. Y2K was in full media effect. People were buying toilet paper and non-perishables by the truck load… literally.

The world was freaking out.

How on earth could our beginning to be technologically driven world ever survive when the computers have to go to a 00 ending? What ever shall we do? The banks will crash, the stock market will plummet, hospitals will lose power and everyone will die!

I remember being my ignorant little southern early twenties self and thinking… really? Our world has survived for over 6000 years without all this tech stuff and we really think that a date roll is going to destroy it as we know it? That, my friends, is how easily the media can create chaos and bring stupidity out in massive proportions. It’s propaganda my friends… and it has been proven over and over to work easily and quickly and  almost flawlessly.

It plays on fear. And it plays on the fear of fear.

Whenever we make a decision based on fear you can almost guarantee it’s always the wrong decision. If we say the words, “I’m afraid that if I don’t then….” before a decision we are trying to make, then I suggest we stop and re-evaluate. Our decisions should be made based on the peace of God, not fear created by the words of man. If we are making a decision based on the words of people rather than the Word of God… then it is the wrong decision.

When the world shouts Y2K and is running around stocking up on toilet paper… the people of God should be found being still and knowing that He is God… He is the One that controls the end of the world… not a date roll.

In the book of Nehemiah we read

Now the rest of the people, the priests, the Levites, the gatekeepers, the singers, the temple servants and all those who had separated themselves from the peoples of the lands to the law of God, their wives, their sons and their daughters, all those who had knowledge and understanding,

Nehemiah 10:28 (NASB)

Obviously the underlined emphasis is mine. Right here in this passage we see the only way that we can separate ourselves from the media induced crazy mass chaos of confusion and fear of the “peoples of the land” is to separate ourselves to the law of God. If you separate from it to anything else you are still in it… just from a different angle. You still will lack knowledge and understanding and find yourselves being led by the words of men and fear rather than the peace of God that surpasses all understanding (Philippians 4:7).

Today in America we see the family going down in flames. The peoples of the land are attempting to completely re-define family in general… and they are trying through television programs and other forms of media to make the family a joke and a place of aggravation and foolishness instead of the place of strength and confidence and safety.

In human context, a family (from Latinfamilia) is a group of people affiliated by consanguinity (by recognized birth), affinity (by marriage), or co-residence/shared consumption (see Nurture kinship). Members of the immediate family may include a spouse, parent, brother and sister, and son and daughter. Members of the extended family may include grandparent, aunt, uncle, cousin, nephew and niece, or sibling-in-law. In most societies the family is the principal institution for the socialization of children. As the basic unit for raising children, anthropologists most generally classify family organization as matrifocal (a mother and her children); conjugal (a husband, his wife, and children; also called nuclear family); avuncular (for example a brother, his sister, and her children); or extended family in which parents and children co-reside with other members of one parent’s family. 

~ wikipedia

The term nuclear family comes from the word nucleus in relation to atoms… you know the building block of all matter. The nucleus is the central and most important part of an object, movement, or group, forming the basis for its activity and growth. The family with a husband, a wife, and children is what is termed a nuclear family. 

We homeschool our children… and well one of the largest fears of non-homeschooling families is the media induced lie of “socialization”. If our kids do not attend public school how on earth will they ever learn to function properly in society?

Y2K people. Y2K.

Even wikipedia states the truth, In most societies the family is the principal institution for the socialization of children.” 

So here’s my question to the church… is the church participating in the destruction and decline of the family or are we working to strengthen and build it?

If your “ministry” is bringing misery to the family… specifically your own… then is it really ministry?

Let me ask you… how was Satan able to deceive Eve? Was she with her family? Or did he catch her while she was alone… separated.

Are the “ministries” of your church doing more to add stress to the families within it? Are they keeping the families separated… parents running crazy in fifty different directions all week… and constantly draining the families finances forcing parents to choose between buying their children shoes or sending them to dinner and a movie with the youth group? Are you constantly pulling kids away from their parents or planning events around the building up and strengthening of the relationship between parent and child.

Are you eliminating the possibility of a child who does not have a strong christian family with both a mother and a father in the home from experiencing the reality of one by always keeping them surrounded by only their peers for fear of them feeling “left out” because they don’t have a christian home?

In our attempt to “reach the children” are we helping to destroy the foundation that God Himself designed and laid as the tool to reach children… the family.

There is a reason that Leave it to Beaver was such a hit… kids who didn’t have this is reality got to see it in possibility, which meant they could see how to do things differently with their families one day.

I loved what I read the other day in a blog post by Connie Jakab,

Ministry needs direction, and our attention as well, but through this experience I’ve started to question ministry culture. We ambitiously build for the kingdom, but are we building something because “ministry culture” has told us to? Is it really necessary? Do I really need to slave away my time, energy, and resources on these things, or is reevaluation needed? This is a personal question only we can answer for ourselves as every situation is different. We need to look at what we do from an outside perspective to see if our work is producing the fruit God desires and if it creates health for our families or if it doesn’t.

You can read the full post here: When Family Pressures Threaten Your Ministry. However I believe the post title should have been When Ministry Pressures Threaten Your Family.

The health of our families should be a priority in our lives and in the ministry of the church. We as the church should never catch ourselves being a part of adding even more stress and unbiblical burdens and unwarranted guilt on our members. Because when the rubber hits the road… the family will stand before God by families… not by church membership.

The land will mourn, every family by itself; the family of the house of David by itself and their wives by themselves; the family of the house of Nathan by itself and their wives by themselves; the family of the house of Levi by itself and their wives by themselves; the family of the Shimeites by itself and their wives by themselves; all the families that remain, every family by itself and their wives by themselves.

Zechariah 12:12-14

 

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