A New Year

Rev. 21:5 Then He who sat on the throne said, “Behold, I make all things new.”

2 Cor. 5:17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.

Jeremiah 29:11 For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.

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The children have all gone home and I now have time to reflect on the wonderful time spent together.  There were 13 people, 3 beagles, and 1 cat in our house.  It was filled with laughter, noise, chaos, some tension :-), hugs, eating, messes, movies, games, toys, and many of our Christmas traditions.  I loved every minute of it!!!!

The house is quiet now and I am trying to project for this new year my hopes and goals for myself, my marriage, and my children.:

I have chosen two words to focus on this year – intentional and peace:

intentional – in my prayers, time with God, my commitments, and my relationships.  The ‘I will’ verses are so powerful when you start talking about intentions.

   Psalm 9:2 I will be glad and rejoice in You; I will sing praise to Your name, O Most High.

   Psalm 101:2 I will behave myself wisely in a perfect way. O when will you come to me? I will walk within my house with a perfect heart.
 
peace – thankful for the peace I have with God through Jesus.

            – peace within myself and peace with others.

   Romans 5:1 Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ:
 
   John 14:27 Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.
 
   Romans 12:18 If it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men.
 

My intentional prayer for each member of our family is that the greatest thing in each of our lives will be knowing God and making Him known. (Phil 3:8) (Mat 5:16) (1 Peter 2:9)
My intentional prayer for my husband is that he would feel surrounded by my love (Proverbs 5:19)
My intentional prayer for our grandchildren is that they would grow in wisdom and stature and in favor with God and man as Jesus did (Luke 2:52)

 
Do you choose special words, scriptures, or prayers for the year?   I would love to hear yours.
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Keeping Christ in Christmas

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Starting December 1st, check www.trainupthechild.org for information on the origins of Christmas traditions and how we can relate them to Christ. Just type in the search box ‘Day 1 of Keeping Christ in Christmas’ and continue each day until ‘Day 25 of Keeping Christ in Christmas’.

Enjoy the holidays with your children as you use the tangible images and traditions to teach the intangible concepts concerning the true meaning of Christmas!

 

Celebrate Veterans!

My Three Favorite Veterans

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.

Don’t just have a day off without telling your children why.  Teach them about Veteran’s Day.

Are you confused by Veterans’ Day and Memorial Day?  Memorial Day honors American service members who died in service to their country or as a result of injuries incurred during battle, while Veterans Day pays tribute to ALL American veterans, but especially honoring living veterans who have served their country.

You can keep the days straight by the fact that Memorial Day is in May and it has to do with the memory of those who died.

Veterans Day was originally 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 today and to pray for God to bless them and their families for their sacrifices.
– 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  site to help you celebrate Veteran’s Day with your children.

Halloween – Enjoy the Fun; Talk about the Fear

 

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. With that in mind, we enjoy the innocent fun at Halloween.

But some things that go on at this time go beyond fun and can cause fear in children. Thus, this is a great opportunity to use the fear to teach scriptures about the power of Jesus. You could start by saying that there are bad spirits in the world, but we don’t have to be afraid of them if we believe in Jesus because of 1 John 4:4 “But you belong to God, my dear children. You have already won your fight with these false prophets, because the Spirit who lives in you is greater than the spirit who lives in the world.“

Emphasize this is why it is important to stay close to God because He is greater than the bad spirits. In fact, they are afraid of Him and 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,”) He said we can use His name to tell the bad spirits to go away (Mark 3:15 “and he gave them authority to cast out demons.”) Talk to them about the power of using 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.”) All of Psalm 91 is about God’s protection – good psalm for us parents to memorize.

Choose at least one scripture to memorize with your children that they can quote when they feel fearful. Two that I always use with children are:
Joshua 1:9 “I command you—be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”
Psalm 56:3 “What time I am afraid, I will trust in God.”

Tell them the story of when Jesus used scripture to battle the devil (Luke 4) Emphasize that there is power in the Word (Isaiah 55:11 “so is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.”)

Tell them that God doesn’t want us to be afraid (2 Tim. 1:7 “For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline.”)

A good book to teach children to use this holiday to celebrate God’s victory over evil spirits is Halloween: Is It for Real? by Harold Myra

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