Jul 14 2014

Who Needs Encouragement?

Truett Cathy got it right when he said, “How do you identify someone who needs encouragement? That person is breathing.”  There is not a person alive that does not need encouragement.  We all get discouraged and we all wonder if our lives are making a difference in this world.  We need to encourage each other!!!!

There are many scriptures that tell us to encourage one another.  Here are a few:

1 Thes. 4:18 So comfort and encourage each other with these words.

1 Thes. 5:11 So encourage each other and build each other up, just as you are already doing.

Hebrews 10:24 Think of ways to encourage one another to outbursts of love and good deeds

Here are some excellent quotes on encouragement:

“There are high spots in all of our lives and most of them have come about through encouragement from someone else.” ~George M. Adams

 “You never know when a moment and a few sincere words can have an impact on a life.” ~Zig Ziglar

“Our chief want is someone who will inspire us to be what we know we could be.” ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

“The greatest good you can do for another is not just share your riches, but reveal to him his own.” ~Benjamin Disraeli

“Be hearty in your approbation and lavish in your praise”  -Charles Schwab

When you are feeling discouraged, don’t wait for someone to encourage you, go encourage someone. 

Encourage your parents, your spouse, your children, your friends, your neighbors, strangers, etc.

Encourage those who lead you – it is not easy making decisions that affect others.

Encourage those who serve you – they work hard and have feelings and a life apart from serving you.

Encourage a parent when you observe their children making wise choices - they need to know that their children are applying what they are teaching.

Encourage by noticing someone’s specific character traits. Here’s a list of character qualities to recognize and commend:  http://www.englishclub.com/vocabulary/adjectives-personality-positive.htm

Encourage your children even if they aren’t getting everything right. “I have yet to find the man, however exalted his station, who did not do better work and put forth a greater effort under a spirit of approval then under a spirit of criticism.” ~Charles Schwab.  Here’s a printable list of words to use to encourage a child:  http://www.tivywhitlock.com/files/72717355.pdf

Lead your children to look for ways to encourage others.  It comes naturally for some; for others they need to be led to do it.   As you travel this summer as a family, be intentional in encouraging those you come in contact with.

Thank you for encouraging me by reading what I have written and showing an interest in the training of children. May you be encouraged today!!! And just in case no one has applauded you yet, this is for you:



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Jun 30 2014

Let’s Celebrate Our Independence

Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed. 
John 8:36

Another holiday is another opportunity to teach your children.  Try to always have a centerpiece that represents the holiday so you can be reminded to talk about it at meal times.


While we may not agree with everything happening in our country right now, we still need to celebrate with our children the fact God has allowed us to live in a free country and that many brave soldiers have fought physical and spiritual battles to ensure we have freedom.


Explain that we have physical freedom in our country to go where we want to go and do what we want to do.   Soldiers gave up their lives so we could live in a free country.  Tell your children about America’s history.  Watch these informative Early American Series videos online and then retell the stories in your own words to your younger children; be animated and use visuals if possible.  Older children might enjoy watching the videos.

Be sure and emphasis that we have the highest form of freedom, spiritual freedombecause Christ died on the cross to set us free from the punishment for sin and free from the power of sin which is freedom to make wise choices.  Since Christ’s death and resurrection, many soldiers for Christ have fought spiritual battles against the enemy, Satan, so we can know the message of salvation.


Thank you, God, for the freedom we have in our country to go where we want to go and do what we want to do.  Thank you, Jesus, for dying on the Cross so we can be free from the punishment and power of sin.  Thank you for the soldiers who fight for freedom.


Free 4th of July crafts and printables

Printable ‘Pray for Your Leaders’ coloring page

Mini Flags to Make

Activities:  (begin some family traditions)

Sing: I’m in the Lord’s Army

Read the Midnight Ride of Paul Revere and/or The Declaration of Independence

Play patriotic music all day. Here’s some sites for music http://www.patrioticon.org/patriotic-soundfiles.htm  and http://youtu.be/Q65KZIqay4E
March to the music holding flags you made or purchased

Watch patriotic movies -
Our favorite is the old Disney classic Johnny Tremain [DVD] (1957)
Another suggestion is Liberty’s Kids cartoon  – The First 4th of July

Here’s an excellent dvd to help keep God’s role in American history as an important part of your child’s education: One Nation Under God
Here’s a great site with lots of info and ideas http://powerofmoms.com




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Jun 23 2014

Summer Fun For Free

Summer Fun

(1982 -Josh and Jer playing in the dirt with their Dad)

It seems that God has always had us in ‘tight times’ so we were always motivated to make the most of our situation and enjoy the simple things.

Here are some things we have done that are free or very inexpensive.

Play in the dirt- and go ahead add the water to make the mud

Play with Flour- Go outside with a cheap 5 lb. bag of flour. Sift it, pour it, mix it, throw it.

Sock wars- Save your old socks and roll each into a ball and throw them at each other

Run through the Sprinkler

Water balloons and guns

Sidewalk chalk

Mustard and Ketchup finger-painting - (to keep this from being messy, you can put a few squirts of mustard and ketchup in a baggie and seal it with tape and then press it around in the baggie)

Play dough - Just for fun or let children illustrate with play dough something from a story you just read

Goop (non toxic) -Mix 8 oz. of white glue and 6 oz. of water.Separately combine 1 tsp. of borax and half cup of water.Pour borax mixture into glue mixture and mix with hands until all liquid is absorbed and texture is smooth.

Lava pit-Take all the pillows in the house and place them around on the floor and you can only get from one place to another by stepping on a pillow.

Avalanche - Take all the pillows again and build a high tower, then take cover as it comes toppling down on everyone

Nature walk - Take a walk and discover some of God’s toys like Maple tree seeds, or as we called them, twirly bird seeds.

Build tents inside and out with sheets and blankets

Camp out in the backyard

Picnic with cookie cutter peanut butter sandwiches in backyard or at a park or under a sheet draped over the kitchen table (cut sandwiches with cookie cutters)

Play with Cornstarch - Mix one part water with one-and-a-half to two parts cornstarch, adding a bit of food color for fun.It is like a thick liquid; you can sink your hand into the mixture slowly, but it will not give if you punch it quickly.

Rubber band guns - Nail a clothes pin to a stick of wood to make the gun and use rubber bands to knock down army men or whatever.

Create with masking tape - Use masking tape on the floor to make roads for cars or use it to make a pretend boat for you all to get in…just use your own imagination.

Popcorn in the backyard - If you have an electric popcorn popper, take it outside and place it on a sheet.Start it popping with no top on it and watch the popcorn fly.

Invent your own fun – A few years ago our family invented a new twist to playing catch…every time we caught the ball, we had to say a movie quote.

Here are some websites with more great ideas for summer:







:-) A Few Rules:

Don’t be hesitant to make a mess. Sure, there will be a lot of clean up, but you will be making memories together. On Mother’s Day several years ago our oldest son, who was 30 at the time, gave me a card with 30 reasons he was glad I was his mom –  one was that I always let them make messes.

Don’t ever get too old to have fun as a family. Our children are all adults now but we still enjoy acting like kids. Jesus said that we must come to Him with the humility and faith of a little child (Luke 18:16-17, Matthew 18:1-4)…I think He wants us to approach all of life with the wonder and enjoyment of a little child.

Speak of God and His Word as we go“And you must commit yourselves wholeheartedly to these commands I am giving you today. Repeat them again and again to your children. Talk about them when you are at home and when you are away on a journey, when you are lying down and when you are getting up again.“ (Deut 6:6-7)

  • As you play with play dough you could share, “God tells us ‘work with your hands’ (I Thessalonians 4:11)
  • While playing with flour, say  “God gives us richly all things to enjoy” (1 Tim. 6:17)  
  • While discovering things on your nature walk you could say, “Think of the wonders of God” (Joel 2:25, Job 37:14, Psalm 40:15)



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Jun 15 2014

Father’s Day

Published by under Father's Day

I am very thankful for my loving Dad leading me in the Way I should go.  I am also grateful for my Godly husband training our children and setting the example for our sons to be great fathers!!

I’ve been on a mission trip to New Mexico for the last 8 days, so again this year I am just reposting some previous Father’s Day posts:





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Jun 03 2014

An Inexpensive Beauty Treatment That Is Priceless

Published by under Father's Day,marriage

Looking to improve your appearance?  Before you head out to the salon, read this:

Do not let your adornment be merely outward–arranging the hair, wearing gold,
or putting on fine apparel–rather let it be 
the hidden person of the heart,
with the incorruptible beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit,
which is very precious in the sight of God.

For in this manner, in former times, the holy women
who trusted in God also adorned themselves,

being submissive to their own husbands, as Sarah obeyed Abraham,
calling him lord,
whose daughters you are if you do good
and are not afraid with any terror.        - - 1 Peter 3:3-6

According to this Scripture passage, we can make ourselves more beautiful by simply honoring our husbands.  Attention to our outward appearance is good, but we can negate all the effort we put into it if we are unkind and disrespectful to our husbands.   Here are some excellent suggestions for enhancing our beauty in the eyes of our man: (written by Mary Alice Smith, married 67 years to Bible teacher Fred Smith)

1) Appreciate him – Never give the impression, “I could have done better.”

2) Send him off each day with a pocketful of “feel goods” Get up and fix him breakfast, compliment him on how he looks, tell him you will be glad when he comes home.

3) Believe in him - Support his motives. Let him know you believe he is sincere in what he is doing. Never tear him down or cause him to doubt himself.

4) Know what is important in his life – Don’t assume that the family is number one always, especially if he is following a calling. Let him know you and the family want to participate in his calling, and you don’t want to compete with it.

5) Be loyal to him – Don’t “air your dirty laundry” when you are with others. When the wife exposes the husband’s weaknesses, it is usually because she is insecure.

6) Laugh when he tells a story – I try never to groan and say, “You aren’t going to tell that one again, are you?” People watch the wife when the husband is speaking.

7) Let him brag to you – It is so easy for a wife to think it’s her job to keep her husband humble, but everyone else in the world does enough of that.

8 ) Make him feel like a man – Someone once said, “Treat him like a king and he will treat you like a queen.”

9) Help him concentrate – Be careful about interrupting your husband.

10) Avoid jealousy – The “green-eyed monster” is a sure sign of insecurity and selfishness. The love in 1 Corinthians 13 certainly excludes jealousy.

And I’d like to add one more:

Pray for your husband –  talking to God about any disappointments you have in him will avail much more than continually expressing them to his face.  Let’s be aware that it’s a tough job being a husband and father.  He needs our prayer support.

On this Father’s Day and everyday, let’s concentrate on showing respect to our husbands.
It will look good on us!  And the benefits to our marriage and our home will be priceless!!

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May 27 2014

Movie Review: Moms’ Night Out

Moms!  Take a night out and go see Moms’ Night Out!  In fact, you may want to take your husband and the kids – it is great family entertainment with something for all ages!

We established in a previous post that being a mom is hard!  Sometimes you just need to laugh at your life.  Every mom will be able to identify with exhausted Allyson (Sarah Drew) and her friends.   Their efforts to have just one evening out to try and recharge will totally give to you some much needed belly laughs!!  I have never laughed as hard as I did at this movie – I’m serious.  But in the midst of all the levity, there are inspiring messages to us all which are sure to bring tears as well.  Here is just a sampling:

Pastor’s wife Sondra (Patricia Heaton): “Life is about finding the meaning and the joy and the purpose in all the chaos.”
Biker dude Bones (Tracy Adkins): “It’s a beautiful thing, watching one of God’s creatures doing what He made it to do,”

This film is not being labeled a faith based film even though there are some scenes that would make you think it is.  I like what one of the producers, who also plays one of the moms, Patricia Heaton, had to say about faith based films in an interview with Orange County Register:

Now, what I find discouraging, and what I would like to see changed, is not to have movies so segregated into faith-based movies and secular movies. When did the words “faith-based” become controversial? Actually, all movies are faith-based movies because whoever wrote and directed them are telling you what they believe in. Every movie is based on someone’s belief and faith. “Moms’ Night Out” does this beautifully, and I want to be part of a movement that would make all movies faith-based, without it being political or divisive. We’re at a point where people feel they have to whisper about anything spiritual. My goodness, when did we get to this point where people are afraid to talk about spiritual things? I don’t want to do movies that are sermons. If I wanted to do sermons, I’d become a pastor. I want to do movies that explore those things, without doing it overtly or in your face.

To the writers Jon Erwin and Andrea Gyertson Nasfell and all those involved in making this film, I say thank you.  I appreciate your giving us such an entertaining and hilarious look at the most important job of all – being a mom!  And thank you for the wise, Biblical words of encouragement that resounded loud and clear without being ‘in your face’!!!

Check http://momsnightoutmovie.com to find out where Moms’ Night Out is playing and go see it.  I guarantee you will be refreshed and encouraged!

Mom’s Night Out:  Official Trailer

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May 22 2014

Do Your Children Know Why We Have Memorial Day?

Published by under Memorial Day,Music,Video

 Home of the free because of the brave

God made a decree many years ago that memorials be set up to help our children know about the things that happened in the past:

Joshua 4:6-7
We will use these stones to build a memorial. In the future, your children will ask, “What do these stones mean to you?”                  
Then you can tell them, ‘They remind us that the Jordan River stopped flowing when the Ark of the Lord’s covenant went across.” These stones will stand as a permanent memorial among the people of Israel.” 

Have your children asked, ‘What do these three days off mean to you?”  Have you been intentional in making sure they know it is so much more than grilling out or a trip to the lake.? How will they know if you don’t tell them? During this Memorial Day weekend please be sure to talk to your children about the reason for the celebration.  Tell them Memorial Day is meant to be a time to remember the American soldiers who died in service to our country.  Teach them to value the ultimate sacrifice these soldiers made for us all.

The history of Memorial Day originally began in 1868 as a day to decorate the graves of soldiers who died in the Civil War. In more recent years our government passed a resolution that Memorial Day be observed on the last Monday of May as an occasion to remember and honor the men and women who died in all wars.

Here are some resources and ideas to help you lead your children to appreciate what the day means:


  • Watch patriotic movies
  • Yall might enjoy this video created by our children. When they were young, our boys loved to pretend to be soldiers, dressing in full camouflage.  When they got older they made this short film to illustrate one of their father’s sermons:  http://youtu.be/M9-_nSHugKs 

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May 10 2014

Be a Joyful Mother – Even If the Job is Hard (and it is)

Published by under Mother's Day,Mothers,Scripture

Truly there is no greater privilege and joy than being a mom, but with this comes no greater responsibility! Watch this video:


Motherhood is the hardest, most demanding job in the world! Genesis 3:16 tells us this is one of the consequences of  the original sin  - women will have much pain in having children –  I don’t think it means just in child birth – it is a never ending life of pain in one way or another – sometimes physically and sometimes emotionally.

To the woman He said: “I will greatly multiply your sorrow and your conception; In pain you shall bring forth children;”

Ok, so we have established motherhood is hard.  But what do you do? Once you have taken the position, it is not a job you can quit – no, but -

  • You can quit saying it is hard
  • You can quit complaining
  • You can quit having a sour disposition
  • You can quit being negative
  • You can quit losing your patience
  • You can quit doing it alone

But how do we accept the most demanding job in the world without complaining?  The answer – we don’t have to do it – God promises to do it through you!!  He has not left you alone to accomplish this sometimes seemingly impossible task.

1 Thes. 5:24 He who calls you is faithful, who also will do it.

That’s right!! –  God has promised to mother through you. Realize that the One who gave you the job is faithful and will do it.  Wow – Does any other boss offer you a deal like that?!  :-)

It would be helpful to memorize that scripture and claim it often – that’s what has gotten me through 37 years so far of motherhood!!  

Here are other scriptures to memorize and think on when you are feeling overwhelmed with your motherly tasks:

  • Exodus 33:14 And He said, “My Presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.” 
  •  Psalm 94:13 That You may give him rest from the days of adversity, Until the pit is dug for the wicked. (rest means power to calm myself)
  •  Psalm 94:19 In the multitude of my anxieties within me, Your comforts delight my soul. 
  •  Psalm 131:2 Surely I have calmed and quieted my soul, Like a weaned child with his mother; Like a weaned child is my soul within me.
  •  Isaiah 26:3 You will keep him in perfect peace, Whose mind is stayed on You,  Because he trusts in You. 
  •  Matthew 11:28-30 Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.  For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” 
  • Col. 3:15 And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to which also you were called in one body; and be thankful. 
  •  2 Tim. 1:7 For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind. 
  •  Philip. 2:17 Yes, and if I am being poured out as a drink offering on the sacrifice and service of your faith, I am glad and rejoice with you all. 
  •  Psalm 34:5 Those who look to him for help will be radiant with joy;  no shadow of shame will darken their faces.  

So Moms – doers of the hardest job in the world – look to God and radiate with joy  - be glad and rejoice – because God has trusted you with the greatest privilege in the world – you get to mold, love, and be loved by His little children  -  don’t miss a moment of it!!!!

Matthew 19:14 But Jesus intervened: “Let the children alone, don’t prevent them from coming to me. God’s kingdom is made up of people like these.”


This post was inspired by the following two posts..  Please read them:

Stop Saying Being a Mom is Hard 

Why Being a Mom Isn’t Hard






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May 03 2014

Learn From Mothers in the Bible and in History

Published by under Mothers,parenting,uncategorized

Sarah, Hannah, and Mary are 3 mothers in Scripture that have much to teach us about being a Godly mother.  Check out my husband’s awesome sermon series “How I Met Your Mother” and learn about these special moms.  http://dudleybaptist.org/resources/sermons/

No study of great moms in history would be complete without looking at the life of Susanna Wesley.  Susanna Wesley had 15 children and spent an hour a week with each child individually, helping he or she to be totally submitted to God.

When she was asked about her method of preparing her children for spiritual maturity she replied (I think this is my favorite piece of advice for mothering):

“No one can, without renouncing the world, in the most literal sense, observe my method; and there are few, if any, that would entirely devote above twenty years of the prime of life in hopes to save the souls of their children, which they think may be saved without so much ado; for that was my principal intention, however unskillfully and unsuccessfully managed.” 

Here are some of her methods:

16 Rules of Susanna Wesley

1. Eating between meals not allowed. (3 meals a day – no snacks)

2. As children they are to be in bed by 8 p.m. (starting with the youngest)

3. They are required to take medicine without complaining. (although they did throw up)

4. Subdue self-will in a child, and those working together with God to save the child’s soul. (main point)

5. To teach a child to pray as soon as he can speak. (Lord’s Prayer twice daily – then others)

6. Require all to be still during Family Worship.

7. Give them nothing that they cry for, and only that when asked for politely. (No crying – odious sound – strictly enforced)

8. To prevent lying, punish no fault which is first confessed and repented of. (one child trouble, rest readily honest)

9. Never allow a sinful act to go unpunished. (willful disobedience or wrongdoing)

10. Teach children to fear the rod. (spanked them early – not necessary later)

11. Never punish a child twice for a single offense. (once dealt with never mentioned again)

12. Comment and reward good behavior. (this freely and positively done)

13. Any attempt to please, even if poorly performed, should be commended. (good job – great try)

14. Preserve property rights, even in the smallest matters. (even to a pin, give something away not yours)

15. Strictly observe all promises. (Hers and others)

16. Require no daughter to work before she can read well. (taught Latin, Greek, all subjects – then duties.
               EDUCATION 6 hours a day 5 years old and up) 

Read more about Susanna in the book, Susanna: Mother of the Wesleys

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Apr 17 2014

Keeping Jesus in Easter – Easter Basket

Published by under Easter,history,traditions


. . . the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Romans 6:23

(History and Helps for Enjoying Easter Traditions While Teaching Eternal Truths)

Easter occurs on the Sunday after the first full moon following Spring Equinox.  In ancient days, this first moon was a sign to farmers to make sure they planted the first seeds of the season as the cold winter was over and daylight was longer.  Middle Eastern cultures, such as the Hebrews, Arabs, Assyrians and Babylonians, had spring traditions of celebrating the first seedlings of their new crops. They brought them in baskets to temples for a blessing that their gods would continue to bless the crops for the rest of the year.

To Christians, Easter represents the resurrection of Christ. Lent is the season that proceeds Easter and lasts for forty days. During the Lent season, it is expected to give up something such as meat, dairy, eggs, or whatever.. The custom of having a large Easter supper represents the end of the fast. The food was brought to the church in large baskets, thus the connection to treats in Easter baskets today.

The Easter grass comes from the tradition of Dutch children waiting for the delivery of eggs on Easter Sunday. They would keep these eggs in ‘bird nests’ of grass.

  • Easter basket is woven together like the crown of thorns
  • Easter grass is like hay in the manger for baby Jesus
  • Bag of gold or silver covered chocolate coins represent the betrayal of Jesus by Judas
  • Chocolate rooster is a reminder of Peter’s three denials of Jesus
  • One hollow plastic eggs that is empty to represent the empty tomb
  • Marshmallow chicks, bunnies remind us of new life and new birth
  • And always put a cross in the basket.  It can be a chocolate one or possibly one you have made together.  Put the cross in the basket each year with the new gifts to be a reminder of the greatest Gift of all and the amazing Reason we celebrate!! 


(colored egg shells glued on cardboard cross)  

 Screen Shot 2013-03-22 at 11.24.49 PM
 (two sticks wrapped together with yarn)

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