The writing and teachings of Nicole Love Halbrooks Vaughn 

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Small Studies on Prayer

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On two separate occasions I had the opportunity to share on the subject of prayer. Here are the PDF copies that I handed out to those that were at each event.

Pray In This Way

You can find the posts that developed as I processed through this study beginning here: God Forbid It

Praying for Our Children

You can find the posts that go deeper into the message that the Lord laid on my heart to share beginning here: Praying for Our Children

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Do You See Someone Falling?

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You pushed me violently so that I was falling,
But the Lord helped me.
The Lord is my strength and song,
And He has become my salvation.

Psalm 118:13-14

I don’t know about you, but I have been in seasons when the world has pushed me violently… I have been in a place, more than once, that I found myself falling because the circumstances of life were doing all they could do to push me down.

But… the Lord helped me.

That’s one thing that the circumstances of life do not consider when they push you violently so that you are falling… the Lord can even be found face down on the ground in the pit of rock bottom.

From my distress I called upon the Lord;
The Lord answered me and set me in a large place.

Psalm 118:5

Tonight I will be sharing at a women’s event. The message that the Lord has given me is one of encouragement. Sadly, we seem to have come to a place in our day, where those who are called by the name of Christ get more fired up about condemning than encouraging.

The posts that go viral are the ones with the mom’s degrading the preteen girl who is posting less than modest selfies on social media… or the one’s that use sarcasm to prove a point (and I am pretty sure if I looked through my own blog, I would find myself having written those sarcasmy posts as well)

Let me tell you what I see when I see a preteen or even teen girl posting immodest pics… I see a young girl who has never had a father who hugged her tight and told her that she was beautiful… inside and out. I see a girl who is starving for someone to tell her she has worth and value and that she is absolutely stunning.

There is a reason that even a grown woman when she gets ready asks, how does this look? She doesn’t want to know if it matches… she just wants to know if you, the one she has asked, thinks that she looks beautiful. I don’t know if men understand the level of vulnerability that is there when a woman asks that simple question, that has become a punchline in so many comedic circles.

This past Thursday, my husband and I, along with our middle daughter attended his company crew party where we had the honor to hear John Croyle share about a ministry that he and his wife started many years ago, Big Oak Ranch. As he shared he made a huge point… well he made many huge points, I could have listened to him for hours longer (and in case you want to know more about him and this ministry I have added it to my blog as a highly recommended ministry to support).

One of the points was that that there are two things every girl and every boy wants to know.

Every girl wants to know 1) that she is loved, no matter how bad she screws up, she wants to know if she is still her Daddy’s little girl, 2) and she wants to know that she is pretty, does someone think she is beautiful?

Every boy wants to know 1) am I loved, and 2) do I measure up? John shared that there is a reason that little boys want to wrestle with there Daddy all. the. time. There is a reason they ask how am I doing. There is a reason they say, hey watch this.

We live in a world today that tries to convince us that we will never measure up. We live in a world today that tries to convince us that we will never be pretty enough. We live in a world that is doing all it can to strip us of our identity and value… a world that is pushing us violently so that we are falling.

And to often those who are called by the name of Christ are right there to make the final push instead of reaching out to help. I think we have forgotten something very important…

The Lord is for me among those who help me;

Psalm 118:7

Let that sink in.

The Lord is for me among those who help me.

Beloved, when was the last time you helped someone? I don’t mean sent a check to an organization that helps. I mean you, with your hands, with your feet, with your words… when was the last time that you helped?

Then the Lord God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone; I will make him a helper suitable for him…

Genesis 2:18

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I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may be with you forever;

John 14:6

We are on this earth for a purpose. You have a purpose… and that purpose is not to get all you can out of this life… your purpose is to give life, to give help, to share the love of Christ with others…

But the earth helped the woman, and the earth opened its mouth and drank up the river which the dragon poured out of his mouth.

Revelation 12:16

That slippery serpent, that nasty dragon, that evil one does not need our help in making a way for his river of vile condemnation and deception to pour out upon the souls of others… the world is hurting… people are hurting… precious ones… Let. Us. Be. Help.

Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord;
We have blessed you from the house of the Lord.
The Lord is God, and He has given us light;

Psalm 118:26-27

Let us come from the house of the Lord with light and with hope and with help. Let us shine life into the darkness of the hearts of those that God places in our path… let us speak words of truth with grace and love. Let us never forget that others will only discover that the Lord is for them when we who know Him choose to help them… not ignore them… or hurt them more.

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Parenting is Serious Business

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Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart
Be acceptable in Your sight,
O Lord, my rock and my Redeemer.

Psalm 19:14

Many times we seem to discover the last place that the words of our mouth or the meditations of our heart are acceptable in the Lord’s sight is when we are within the walls of our own home. Usually we find that the vilest of our words and actions are acted out right here in this place that should be a refuge and a place of safety from the groaning fallen world.

I remember the day well that I KNEW some things needed to change in me… in me… not my kids… IN ME.

I saw a replay of the epiphany that I had as I watched my girls interact one day with their younger cousin. My teenager was patiently and kindly explaining to my niece how to do something… and my youngest turned around and got up and came to sit in my lap with tears in her eyes and said, “Mommy it hurts my feelings to watch her tell somebody else to do something, because she is always nice to them and she tells me in a mean voice

Here’s the thing… Do your kids sit and watch you treat other people’s kids better than you treat them?

Here’s the other thing… If you can hold it together for other people’s kids… guess what… you have just proven that you can hold it together for your own.

Too often our attitudes and actions are matter of habits that need to be changed. In changing habits you have to have a starting point and you have to have accountability. The National Center of Biblical Parenting has tons of material to equip you with both. They have books and programs too offer you tools for successful parenting from birth to hey, it’s time you got a job ;-)

Their latest release is *The Family Toolbox for Preteens and Teens

The Family Toolbox has 8 lessons. Each one has a 1-2 minute scene of a family living life and experiencing common challenges in their relationships. A discussion guide prompts dialogue between parents and teens and a 10-minute teaching session for parents featuring Dr. Scott Turansky and Joanne MIller, RN, BSN gives practical tools to use right away.

As they work through the lessons with their parents, teens learn 16 Life Success Principles and parents learn valuable tools such as:

• How to focus on the heart instead of just behavior
• The cues you give that tell your children when you mean business
• Practical ways to remove conflict from the problems of family life
• How to end correction times with impact
• A tool for maximizing heart change in the correction process
• The value of teaching kids to accept no as an answer
• Ways to reduce anger episodes in children

What I loved about this material is that it is something that you work through with your kids. This is not you trying to incorporate some new parenting skills incognito with your kids. In this material you sit down with your family and say, Okay, some things need to change around here… with me and with you. So we are going to start this study as a family and work through this thing together. We are going to discuss what the parents are doing and what the kids are doing and we are going to see what we can learn so that our home is a place of peace and mutual respect.

*FT New Release

As the parent you want to watch the videos and work through the parent page first. This will help you to be prepared when you sit down to go through the videos with your kids and dialogue with them through the discussion questions.

Believe it or not, even if our kids whine about starting this, they will love doing this with you. It shows them that you care. It shows them that you are trying. It shows them that you want to see them succeed in life. Make sure that you give them the freedom to answer honestly. Examine your own self as you work through this with them and be willing to admit and address your own shortcomings… don’t just point out theirs.

This Family Toolbox study will take you less than 30 minutes a day… it’s well worth the time investment. You could make it dinner time convo. Set up the laptop at the dinner table or make it a pizza night in front of the tv in the family room… just do it. Trust me, you won’t regret it!

FT Disclaimer

*affiliate links used

*Find more parenting tools here: NCBP

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God Said It At Least Ten Times, We Might Should Listen

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In our homeschool co-op chapel time I am teaching through the book of Proverbs. This past Monday we were focusing on Proverbs 10:1

The proverbs of Solomon.

A wise son makes a father glad,
But a foolish son is a grief to his mother.

As I prepared for this lesson I noticed that God restates this phrase in various ways at least ten times in the book of Proverbs alone:

Proverbs 13:1        Proverbs 15:20

Proverbs 17:21      Proverbs 17:25

Proverbs 23:24      Proverbs 27:11

Proverbs 29:3        Proverbs 29:15

Proverbs 29:17

I think this is a word… a message… a thought of God that He seriously is trying to convey the importance of to us… not just in relation to our earthly parents but to Him as well. As I began sharing this verses with the diverse ages in our chapel I wanted to first give a picture of what it kind of looks like when a wise son makes a father’s heart glad.

As we watch this interaction between father and son, we see what happens when a father realizes that his son has made that move from “foolish boy” to “wise son”. When this happens we see a mutual respect explode and blossom between the father and son. Father realizes that son has been listening, learning, and is ready to apply and the son realizes that the father believes in him and he boldly makes his move as his father supports him, shouting, “listen to my son!” The mutual respect becomes oh the more evident when we see the son proudly say, “that’s my dad!” Nemo, no doubt, showed himself to be a wise son who made his father glad.

Now for the second part of Proverbs 10:1…

As we watch, Merida thinks she is going to show her mother who is boss. Merida is foolish. She is so foolish that when this act backfires, and harms the relationship with her mother even more, she goes to a witch, gets a potion to change her mother to do what she wants her to do, and ends up turning her into a bear. Merida’s foolishness almost destroys her mother and the kingdom. What we have in this example is a lack of mutual respect and Merida’s foolishness was a grief to her mother.

In watching the Finding Nemo clip we see a snippet of a son who grew in wisdom and found favor with his father and those around him… this is a cute example, but our best example is found in the Person of Christ…

In the book of Luke as we are introduced to the baby Jesus we learn that

The Child continued to grow and become strong, increasing in wisdom; and the grace of God was upon Him.

Luke 2:40

We learn further on in this book that Jesus did not just grow in wisdom in such a way to impress only Himself, or even to just impress God the Father, but as He grew in wisdom, He grew in stature, and He grew in favor with God and man.

And Jesus kept increasing in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and men.

Luke 2:52

Jesus grew in such a way that the Father placed full confidence in Him and pointed others to Him… as Nemo’s Dad swam up telling all the other fish to listen to His Son, God the Father made the same declaration of His Own…

While he was still speaking, a bright cloud overshadowed them, and behold, a voice out of the cloud said, “This is My beloved Son, with whom I am well-pleased; listen to Him!”

Matthew 17:5

As I began to share with our co-op families in chapel that day, I began to encourage the kids to trust in the love their parents had for them, reminding them that no one would ever love them as their parents… as I scanned the room my eyes caught the beautiful face of a young man who I knew was living with one of our families within the context of the foster care program. It was here when the Lord said, readjust…

I immediately changed my wording from parents, from mother and father, to saying, those who God had given them to take care of them… because as I shared I knew that when I said mother, when I said father, I meant those who are pouring their life into them, whether they be foster parents, adopted parents, grandparents, or their birth parents, but they might not, and I wanted them to know that God was not leaving them out.

Jesus, once again, is our example in this.

I think we sometimes forget that Jesus lived with a surrogate mother and an adoptive father. Yet we never once have Him recorded as turning around and telling them He didn’t have to listen to them because they were not His momma and daddy. No. We are given the opposite.

And He went down with them and came to Nazareth, and He continued in subjection to them; and His mother treasured all these things in her heart.

Luke 2:51

God the Father had placed His Son in the family of Mary and Joseph, these two would love Him, care for Him, provide for Him, educate Him, and train Him up in life… Jesus was to listen to them just as He was to listen to God the Father.

In looking at the relationship of Christ with His earthly parents we see that He always honored them… He honored them until His last breathe… and in looking at the relationship between Jesus and God the Father we see that Jesus only did what His Father asked Him to do… not once do we have Jesus turning around and saying, “I don’t think so Daddy, I am tired of living My life the way You said I have too, You don’t care about what I want, You only want Me to do Your will, well I ain’t havin’ it no more!

However, when you look at the programs set up for our kids in this modern day… is that not the message they preach to our children?

How many teen/preteen movies and television shows have this underlining theme between the kids and those who cared for them? How thankful I am that Jesus did not bow up and say, “No, Dad I’m throwing away Your’s”

No Jesus didn’t say that… He said the opposite

And He went a little beyond them, and fell on His face and prayed, saying, “My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me; yet not as I will, but as You will.”

Matthew 26:39

Now please know that I fully understand that parents are not perfect (I know I’m not), and I understand there really are parents who attempt to live vicariously through their kids, and I am sure there are even parents who have no clue what the gifts and talents of their kids are, and I am sure there are parents who have not even considered dreaming of a future and a hope with or for their kids… but I dare say that if you have been so blessed to be placed within the home and under the authority of people who love you and love God… listen to them. They do what they do and they say what they say, because they only want to see you succeed in life. So just take it all in and evaluate it. See if there be any good sense in it before you rebel against it.

A wise son makes a father glad,
But a foolish son is a grief to his mother.

God said it at least ten times, we might should listen.

Not only did He say it at least ten times, bit He spent nine previous chapters teaching us the importance of listening to the words and commands and instructions of our father and our mother. It is in listening that we grow in wisdom… even unwise words can be used to increase our own wisdom when we choose to weigh them against the absolute truth of the Word of God.

If by chance, you read this and you never had a mother or father who sought to see you succeed in life… hang on to this beloved…

You have been my help;
Do not abandon me nor forsake me,
O God of my salvation!
For my father and my mother have forsaken me,
But the Lord will take me up. 

Teach me Your way, O Lord, and lead me in a level path…

Psalm 27:9-11

Beloved, is not our goal, our deepest desire as a son or daughter of God, to have Him look at us and say, “That’s my child, with whom I am well-pleased, well done, well done my good and faithful servant.

Oh and are you not just giddy to point our Heavenly Father out and say “That’s my Dad! That’s my God!

When we come to the Father through Jesus Christ His Son, we have to ready and willing to say, God my dreams don’t matter, my will means nothing, I don’t care what I have to let go, who I have to walk away from, as long as I am Yours… not my will… but Yours be done… no matter what. 

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When Your Dad Believes In You

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I have shared about my Dad on my blog several times before. I share about him a lot because I got a good one. I was blessed with a Dad that believed in me, with a Dad who never told me I “couldn’t” do anything because I was girl. I was taught the exact opposite. I was taught there was nothing I couldn’t do if I put my mind to it, whether it be the first female United States President, a Supreme Court judge, driving a tractor, or pulling a trailer full of round bails of hay, or riding a bull.

My Daddy believed in me.

I remember being in 2nd grade and telling my Daddy that I wanted to play basketball. Well that next year, he took me right down and signed me up to play. I was one of two girls that signed up. That meant I could play, but I would be the only girl on the team.

photo (7)

 

There I am. Front row, wearing that #2 jersey. It was my first year to play, not only did I play with all boys, but none of those boys went to my school. I was the only girl and I didn’t know any of them, but I played. Terrified. But I played… and I learned.

The next year my Daddy took it upon himself to sign up to coach and I guess he got to spreading the word, because this year there was enough girls that signed up that we had the first all girls team in Hartselle Alabama rec basketball. We had to play the boys, but we had a team.

The following year my Daddy got on the phone with the Morgan County Park and Rec and he was able to get our Hartselle girls basketball team into the county so that we could play against other girls. To this day the Hartselle girls continue to play in the Morgan County circuit… thanks to a Daddy who believed in his daughters.

As anyone who follows my blog knows, my Daddy was diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer this past May. He has been undergoing chemo since then. Today, we wait for the next PET scan to see if the imaging reflects what the blood work has been saying… and that’s that the tumors are shrinking and dying.

I really wanted to do something in honor of my Daddy just for being the amazing man that he is. I am not sure if the ladies in Hartselle, Alabama have a clue what my Daddy did to fight for your equality in Hartselle athletics. He fought hard to build the softball program and he started the basketball program.

So really I am just curious… if you are a woman and have played softball or basketball in the city of Hartselle would you share this post and hashtag #Iplayed #teamwayne

I would love to see how many “daughters” got the opportunity to dream of slam dunks and home runs because my Daddy wasn’t a man who said, “girls can’t” but instead said, “heck yeh, girls can!

Graduation

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Is Your Child Ready For ISIS?

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Who is ISIS?

Whoever they are, we know our United States President has finally admitted that our government underestimated them…

Today, as I sat in my church service… in my very comfortable chair… beside my sister-in-law while my youngest daughter practiced for the Christmas Program and my middle daughter sat on the other side of the church with the youth and we sang our songs within the confines of the safety of our building… I was reminded of the urgency of the message of the cross.

Jim Wilson came and shared today at our church. During his message he shared an email that he and his wife had very recently received. A friend of theirs, a missionary in Iraq sent word for prayer. His name is Sean Malone and he is with the Crisis Response International.

He sent word for prayer because in the area of Iraq that he is in, the UN sent word that they were leaving because ISIS was moving in. The UN recommended that all missionaries leave the area immediately. Sean and his team would not leave the Iraqi people, knowing they were called there by God and God had not released them to go. So they stayed.

ISIS moved in.

ISIS went through the area and pulled out all the children of the Christians… they lined them up in the street and brought the parents out to watch their children be beat and abused by this band of terrorist. The ISIS after beating these children then shouted at them to denounce Christ or be killed.

These children had been told of Christ. They knew the gospel. They knew the One in whom they believed. Their parents had been faithful to obey Deuteronomy 6:4-9

Hear, O Israel! The Lord is our God, the Lord is one! You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. These words, which I am commanding you today, shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your sons and shall talk of them when you sit in your house and when you walk by the way and when you lie down and when you rise up. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand and they shall be as frontals on your forehead. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.

These children’s parents had taught them the words of Christ in John 15:18-21

“If the world hates you, you know that it has hated Me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world,because of this the world hates you. Remember the word that I said to you, ‘A slave is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you; if they kept My word, they will keep yours also. But all these things they will do to you for My name’s sake, because they do not know the One who sent Me.

 These children knew the warning that Jesus gave as encouragement in John 16:2

…but an hour is coming for everyone who kills you to think that he is offering service to God.

These children knew these things and they believed these things with all their heart and with all their mind and with all their strength… so when ISIS pulled them away from their parents arms and beat them and threatened to kill them if they did not denounce Christ… these kids refused.

These kids refused to denounce Christ. They refused to deny their Savior.

And right there… in the streets… with their parents watching it all… ISIS beheaded these precious ones.

Now I ask you…

Mom… Dad… is your child ready for ISIS?

Are you?

Is your relationship with Christ more than a cross ornament around your neck? Is it more than a Sunday fellowship? Is it more than mere churchianity?

When Jesus asks “do you love Me?”, what can you really say? Because beloved the time to play religion is drawing to a close. We are getting down to the nitty gritty… the rubber is hitting the road… and if your head had to roll… if you had to watch your child’s head roll before your eyes… would you still be able to praise the risen Christ?

As Jim Wilson shared this email with us… I sat with tears flooding my eyes as I thought of what these parents and these children endured. I thought of my own girls and in my mother’s panicked heart I had to ask…

Oh God would I be able to stand there, would my girls be able to stand there in stoic flint faced faith knowing that they were Yours and You would receive them into Your glory? Would they, would I, be able to look in the face of a demonically controlled soul and feel pity for this one while they beat me and took my head simply because I loved You?

This is reality.

These are questions we must search our hearts for… we MUST examine our hearts and see if we truly, beyond the shadow of a doubt, believe that HE IS.

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Family Toolbox Giveaway

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Earlier in the Spring I shared a giveaway for the National Center of Biblical Parenting‘s Family Toolbox here: How’s It Going With That Teen. Well, today I am offering an opportunity to win it again! I have shared more than once how impressed I am with the NCBP material… so let’s just jump right on in to this so you can enter to win :-)

The Family Toolbox is a DVD/video-driven program that brings parents and teens together for constructive dialogue around significant issues of discipleship. Conversation is sparked by engaging video clips. Sixteen Life Success Principles are communicated through eight lessons that give parents and teens biblically-based, practical topics for discussion. The format grabs teens and gets them interacting.

The Family Toolbox has 8 lessons. Each one has a 1-2 minute scene of a family living life and experiencing common challenges in their relationships. A discussion guide prompts dialogue between parents and teens and a 10-minute teaching session for parents featuring Dr. Scott Turansky and Joanne Miller, RN, BSN gives practical tools to use right away.
Family Toolbox Giveaway

I am excited to be joining with the National Center for Biblical Parenting (NCBP) to bring you a wonderful giveaway to celebrate the release of the Family Toolbox.

The giveaway includes a $50 Amazon Gift Card + a bundle of biblical parenting resources from NCBP, including:

The Christian Parenting Handbook and Companion Guide

The Christian Parenting Handbook contains nuggets of parenting wisdom condensed into 50 short chapters, each one biblical, practical, and relevant for parents of children ages 2-18. Learn appropriate ways to correct, instruct, and set limits. Glean wisdom for dealing with emotions, conflict, and developing closeness in your family… and much more. These 50 strategies provide you with hands-on tools for parenting children of any age.

The Companion Guide is a workbook of 50 lessons along with 50 audio tips to take you through The Christian Parenting Handbook step by step.

Cultivating Responsibility: Parenting Wisdom for Ages 9-12 Years

The later elementary age years are among the greatest times to build responsibility in children. Heart transformation takes place when parents use other tools than behavior modification. Sometimes though, bad attitudes, disrespect, and a lack of cooperation can muddy the waters. You’ll want to learn from the experts how best to navigate these years. Your children are making significant developmental leaps in their cognitive, social, emotional and spiritual growth. Understanding how best to help children through these years is essential.

Family Heart Moments

The Family Heart Moments book is a treasure. Over 70 inspirational true stories from parents who are eager to connect with their children’s hearts. The heart is a special place in the life of a child. You don’t want to miss it. This book will give you practical ideas for touching your kids in the deepest place.

Family Time Activity for Teens

Teenagers are in an exciting time of life. They’re learning a lot about themselves and the world, and they need lots of spiritual guidance. The activities and applications in this book are designed specifically for teens. The object lessons and games are captivating and the biblical lessons are timeless. Walking Billboards, Fear Factor, and Gender Differences, are just a few of the titles. Nineteen lessons are included, all unique and powerful. Make Family Time a regular part of your family’s spiritual growth.

Learning About Sex: Love, Sex, and God

In a natural, conversational style, this book answers tough questions that help teens separate sex and love facts from myths. Straight facts on dating, marriage, sex, and sexually transmitted diseases are presented here.

Say Goodbye to Whining, Complaining and Bad Attitudes, in You and Your Kids

It affects the way people think, the way they act, and the way they treat others around them. Honor motivates parents to treat children differently. It gives children more constructive ways to interact with their parents. It helps siblings develop tolerance and patience. Honor builds incredibly strong bonds that, in turn, benefit all members of the family. This book shows you in practical ways and shows how honor can transform your family.

To enter, use the Rafflecopter below. This giveaway is open internationally to those age 18 and older.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

Also, please join us for The Family Toolbox Facebook Party on Thursday, October 16, 8-10PM ET where there will be even more great prizes, an opportunity to ask your parenting questions, and lots of fun and fellowship! The winner of this giveaway will be announced at the Facebook party!

RSVP for the Party here: https://www.facebook.com/events/876232019055940/

Family Toolbox Facebook Party

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People Get Ready

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When He broke the second seal, I heard the second living creature saying, “Come.” And another, a red horse, went out; and to him who sat on it, it was granted to take peace from the earth, and that men would slay one another; and a great sword was given to him.

Revelation 6:3-4

As I was sitting one afternoon talking with my parents the conversation turned to where we are in our world today. I shared with my parents that it was easy to convince yourself that things were possibly not that bad (as in end times bad) when we looked at our own little place in this world.

When you are living within a moment you don’t realize how much things are changing or the depth of that change. It’s kind of like when your kids go from baby to preteen in a year…

Shelby's Change

When it’s happening before you a little bit every day the change slips right on by you. It’s not until you take the time to step back and look at it from a distance and with an objective perspective that you are shocked by how much change has taken place right under your nose.

Our world has changed and is changing.

Being a 37 year old woman I often wonder whether things are really as bad as they appear or is it just that I pay more attention now. I can ponder how scary the world is becoming, yet I also know that it could be much worse… or is it just that I have become desensitized with the rest of the world as sin gradually and effectively rots away the core of society. The destruction of the family, kids killing kids, unrest growing all over the world even within the borders of our own nation. These were the thoughts I was pondering last week… and today the headlines read of the beheading of a woman in Oklahoma.

Man Beheads Woman Stabs Another

As I read the article my mind immediately went to the book of Revelation:

When He broke the second seal, I heard the second living creature saying, “Come.” And another, a red horse, went out; and to him who sat on it, it was granted to take peace from the earth, and that men would slay one another; and a great sword was given to him.

Revelation 6:3-4

Now I am not about to get into a pre-trib, mid-trib, post-trib discussion… to me that is all irrelevant. All that is relevant is that I believe that Jesus is the Christ and He is my personal Lord and Savior. As to how long He delays His coming or as to how much suffering I will face as His before He calls me home… that’s in His hands regardless of my or anyone else’s tribulation opinion.

All I know is that Jesus said birth pangs would let us know that the time was drawing close (Matthew 24) and well the contractions are coming pretty darn close together and they are indeed growing harder and stronger.

When we look at the verse in the book of Revelation we see that it was granted this one that rides in on this red horse to take peace from the earth. This word for peace is eiréné and it means peace of mind, a state of national tranquility; exemption from the rage and havoc of war

I don’t know about you but I don’t see a world that is filled with people who have peace of mind. I shared with my parents and my husband again tonight that I never go anywhere in a public crowded place that I do not set a mental plan in place as to what I would do and where I would go should something crazy happen. Attending an event with peace of mind is virtually non existent. I am no where near living in fear… but I am living in be alert and ready.

Notice what was given the rider… a sword. But not the long soldier sword. This sword in the Greek is machaira and it means máχaira – properly, a slaughter-knife; a short sword or dagger mainly used for stabbing; (figuratively) an instrument for exacting retribution.

In our recent day, does this not sound familiar?

Then they will deliver you to tribulation, and will kill you, and you will be hated by all nations because of My name. At that time many will fall away and will betray one another and hate one another. Many false prophets will arise and will mislead many. Because lawlessness is increased, most people’s love will grow cold. But the one who endures to the end, he will be saved. This gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all the nations, and then the end will come.

Matthew 24:9-14

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How To Know A Fraud

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As I study through the book of John and consider where we are today in our world I was reminded of a beautiful truth revealed in the Gospels… especially the Gospel of John.

We are warned by Christ Himself to be on the lookout for frauds…

For false Christs and false prophets will arise and will show great signs and wonders, so as to mislead, if possible, even the elect.

Matthew 24:24

In the Greek the phrase false Christs is one word, pseudochristos, it means false Christ, pretend Messiah. The word false or pretend comes from the Greek word pseudés which means false, deceitful, lying, untrue.

I saw this word and my inner 80’s girl started singing this song…

Now here is a little background on the song:

  • On a 1997 episode of VH1 Storytellers, Collins said: “This is one of those examples of improvising lyrics. You know, sometimes you can use the lyric, other times you’re in big trouble, because what you write doesn’t mean anything. So I set up this drum-machine pad, and I got some chords, and I started to sing into the microphone, and this word came out, which was “sus-sussudio.” It just literally came out, at the time… that was back when I could dance, so I kind of knew I had to find something else for that word, then I went back and tried to find another word that scanned as well as “sussudio,” and I couldn’t find one, so I went back to “sussudio.” Then I thought OK, let’s give it a meaning, what is it? The lyrics are based on this schoolboy crush on this girl at school. It’s happening with my daughter now, she’s 8 years old and she loves this boy, but she won’t tell him, like in the lyrics this boy loves her but they don’t talk about it… how do they know? ‘I know she likes me, I know she likes me, doesn’t know my name, doesn’t know I exist, but I know she likes me’… So that’s what the song is about, so “sussudio” became a name for this person, and since it’s become a name for a horse. My older daughter’s got a horse called Sussudio, and I’m sure there are children all over the world with the name Sussudio, so I apologize for that.”

How do we know a fraud?

There is no meaning or depth to them. They are there in the moment making stuff up as they go because they are feeding off their current crowd in order to gain their attention. In this song Phil Collins just spits a word out. The word has no meaning, yet he was able to convince the world that this word that was simply a figment of his own imagination was a real person. He used human emotions and relative circumstance to do it.

A pseudés Christ or a pseudés prophet works in a similar way. They will feed on your human emotions and they will always either point to you or demand you point to them. They are always seeking their own glory or trying to persuade you to seek your own glory. They usually are aiding you in the creation of a god in your own image.

When we read through the Scriptures, especially through the Gospels we see the heart of the authentic Christ. We see the working of the True Godhead. What we see is that not One Person of the Holy Trinity ever seeks to glorify Themselves.

The Father points to the Son:

Then a voice came out of the cloud, saying, “This is My Son, My Chosen One; listen to Him!”

Luke 9:35

The Son points to the Spirit:

But I tell you the truth, it is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you; but if I go, I will send Him to you.

John 16:7

The Spirit points to the Son:

But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all the truth; for He will not speak on His own initiative, but whatever He hears, He will speak; and He will disclose to you what is to come. He will glorify Me, for He will take of Mine and will disclose it to you.

John 16:13-14

The Son points to the Father:

Therefore Jesus answered and was saying to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of Himself, unless it is something He sees the Father doing; for whatever the Father does, these things the Son also does in like manner.

John 5:19

Each person of the Godhead seeks to glorify the other. They never seek their own glory. They each point to the other and create this beautiful circle of glory…

The amazing thing about this beautiful circle of glory is that they invite us to rest within it. We sit in the midst of this glory, having entered through rent flesh of the Son. If we are truly in this circle we can’t help but give glory to the Father, the Son, and the Spirit because we sit in midst of the whirlwind. We are kept safe in the eye of the hurricane of the grace of God… and as we sit there we cannot help but give glory to the Father, the Son, and the Spirit because we know how truly insignificant we are in the light of Their presence and only humility and a bowed face to the ground in absolute gratitude for His great mercy remains.

A false Christ, a false prophet, will not seek to glorify the Godhead… because there is no room in which to get glory of their own. They are pseu pseu pseu pseudés.

Jesus answered, “If I glorify Myself, My glory is nothing; it is My Father who glorifies Me, of whom you say, ‘He is our God’; and you have not come to know Him, but I know Him; and if I say that I do not know Him, I will be a liar like you, but I do know Him and keep His word.

John 8:54-55

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Preschool Catechisms With Proofs (PDF Download)

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Here is the PDF download of the Preschool Catechisms with Proofs

I put this together from an internet search into catechisms for kids. I could not find a kid friendly current language of catechisms that also had proofs, so I compiled my own.

This is a whole year of catechisms. There are 52 catechisms in this PDF download. I would recommend exploring deeper into each catechism throughout the whole week. For example, when the week 2 catechism is:

2nd Week

Question: What else did God make?

Answer: God made all things.

Read Acts 17:25; Colossians 1:16; Psalm 33:6-7

Have your child memorize the catechism, but also spend the week digging deeper into Genesis 1-2.

Also please note that these are not built around a denominational persuasion. They are catechisms based on the foundation of the common Christian confession that Jesus is Lord and the only way to salvation.

May these be a blessing within your home!

Click here to get your free download: Preschool Catechism with Proofs

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