Tell Your Children About Veteran’s Day

Psalm 106:3     Blessed are those who keep justice,

2 Tim. 2:3     You therefore must endure hardship as a good soldier of Jesus Christ.

2 Timothy 4:7 I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.

Veterans Day pays tribute to ALL American veterans, but especially honoring living veterans who have served their country.

It was originally called Armistice day which was the day during World War I that an agreement to stop fighting was signed – at the 11th hour on the 11th day of the 11th month in 1918 the guns fell silent.

– Lead your children to honor all our Veterans and to pray for God to bless them and their families.
– Set an example to your children of always going up to those you see in uniform and thanking them for their service.

Here’s a great site to help you celebrate Veteran’s Day with your children.

 

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Keeping Thanks in Thanksgiving


Every year on the 1st of November, I always put a large piece of paper on the refrigerator with the words, “Thank you God for” at the top.  Family members were encouraged to regularly write down something they were thankful for.  This was a tradition for many years in our home. We enjoyed writing our own and reading what the rest of the family had written.

Since we are all separated now, we set up a Thanksgiving GroupMe account for group messages just for our family.  We number each thank you and last year we got up to 232 thank you’s.

If you are separated from your family, you might consider the same thing. We love reading what our children are thankful for and seeing them interact with each other on this account.

Writing down your blessings can really change your outlook.   As the old hymn by Johnson Oatman says, “Count your many blessings; name them one by one; and it will surprise you what the Lord has done.”

 

 

 

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How Should Christians Deal With Halloween?

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About 33 years ago I was busy making ghost costumes for my 3 young boys when Betty Rich called and asked what I was doing. I was embarrassed to tell her. She was such a Godly lady, I thought she would surely be disappointed in me for allowing my children to participate in the holiday. However, I still marvel at her wisdom in the comment she made that day, “Sheilah, don’t make your children so different from the world that the world doesn’t want what you have.” I have heeded that advice through the years and applied it in numerous situations, always trying to find things we could participate in with those that might not believe as we do, thus having an opportunity to interact with them.

We chose to enjoy Halloween without even talking about the dark beginnings of it. On other holidays I have encouraged you to teach the history of the traditions of the holidays.  And if you would like to do that for Halloween, here is an informative link.  A good book that explains in simple terms how Halloween started and how Christians now celebrate it is Halloween, Is it for Real? by Harold Myra. 

If you want to try to give a positive meaning to some of the traditions, you can point out that the orange color is used to symbolize the vibrant colors of the harvested crops, while the black color stands for the death of summer.  You can choose to use the pumpkin salvation story while you carve your pumpkin.  But you can choose to just enjoy a fun harvest time of family, friends, neighbors, costumes, parties, and pumpkins.

We must stay aware that some of the things that go on at this time may go beyond fun and can cause fear in children. There are bad spirits in the world, but we don’t have to be afraid of them. The Bible says that at the name of Jesus they have to run away (Philip. 2:10 “so that at the name of Jesus every knee will bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth,”)  We can use the name ‘Lord Jesus Christ’.

God has given us good spirits called angels to watch over us (Psalm 91:11-12 “For he orders his angels to protect you wherever you go. They will hold you with their hands to keep you from striking your foot on a stone.”)

Please check out Ministry to Children for great insights and ideas to help use Halloween to emphasize trusting Jesus.

 

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Teach Your Children to Pray

Begin early to establish prayer in your children about big and little things. Dr Charles Stanley said, “The reason we should teach little children to pray about the little insignificant things (but significant to them) very early in life, is so they learn that if they talk to God, He will answer their prayers.”

The more they see and hear you pray, the more it will become a part of their lives. As you point out answers to prayer, the more they will want to pray.  Let your children hear you express to God your feelings (hurts, joy, love for God)

Be intentional in teaching them all about prayer.

Teach them what prayer is:

Prayer is simply talking to God about anything and everything just as they would with a friend.  Jo Bevington in her book, I Can Pray, described prayer as ‘feeling, thinking, listening, and talking to a very special Friend’. Your children need to know that their special Friend is always with them (Matthew 28:20 “. . . I am with you always. . . “)  Part of the joy of having Jesus with you everywhere you go is to realize you can talk to Him wherever you are, any time of day.

Teach them why we pray:

We pray because God tells us to (1 Thessalonians 5:17) and He is near to those who call to him (Psalm 145:18) God loves us and wants to talk with us just like we like to talk with our friends.  Praying is spending time with our best Friend, our Creator, who wants to spend time with us – wow!!

Teach them how to pray:

When His disciples asked Jesus to teach them to pray, He gave them an example that we call the Lord’s Prayer or the Model Prayer (Matthew 6, Luke 11) We can lead our children to memorize it, but please help them understand it so it can be a prayer from the heart and not just a recitation.

There are 5 kinds of prayer covered in the Model Prayer:

Praise – Tell God “I love you”. Singing praises is prayer too!

Confession – “I’m sorry; please forgive me for . . .”

Thanksgiving – Give God thanks as you go about your day.

Intercession – Pray for others.

Petition – Ask God for help or for needs and desires.

Teach them when and where to pray:
Children can learn this from Jesus’ prayer life.  He prayed in the morning (Mark 1:35); He prayed all night (Luke 6:12); when He was alone (Luke 5:16); when He was thankful (John 6:8-13); when He was sad (Luke 23:34); when He needed to make choices (Luke 6:12-13).  He prayed in a garden, on a mountain, and on the cross.  Lead your children to follow His example and pray anytime and anywhere.  “Evening, and morning, and at noon, will I pray, and cry aloud: and he shall hear my voice.” (Psalm 55:17)

 Teach them what happens when we pray.

God hears and will answer when we pray.  (“When they call on me, I will answer;” Psalm 91:15) The answer may be yes, no, or not yet – but God will answer!!! Point out that sometimes their dad answers with a yes, sometimes with a no, and sometimes with a not yet because he loves them and knows what is best. So it is with our Heavenly Father.  And we can trust that His answer is always best for us.

Give them prayer aides:
– With your older children, help them to start a prayer notebook divided into sections. Encourage them to write down praises; list things they are thankful for; name people to pray for; and list things to ask God to help them with or provide for them.  Encourage them to mark the date when God answers.
– A tangible way to establish prayer in a younger child’s life is by beginning a prayer box. Put in it pictures of people and things to thank God for.  Also include pictures that will be a reminder of things to pray about.  Look together through magazines to find pictures or draw your own. Let them pull out several pictures a night to pray about.  Mark these pictures with a ‘PTL’ or a sticker and the date when you see an answer and leave them in the box as a reminder to thank God for answering.

Create prayer reminders:
– Whenever your children use something that was a gift from someone, remind them to pray for the person who gave it.
– When you hear an ambulance, lead your children to pray for the person in the ambulance and for the people helping them.
– When you see a policeman or a soldier, say a prayer for their safety and thank God for their service.
– When you ride by someone’s house who is having a hard time or does not know Jesus, lead your children to pray for them.
– When watching a movie, pray for the people who are acting in it and for those who made it.
– When you go for a walk, thank God for things you see in His beautiful world.  Sing praises about it!

Remember the most wholesome experience in prayer is for your children to hear you express naturally your own love and confidence to God.  Your children will want to follow!!

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How to Have a Good Attitude

“Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.”
‭‭Philippians‬ ‭4:8‬

Paul knew that what we think about affects how we  act so he tells us what to fill our thoughts with.  Here’s a way to help children visual this.

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