A Thanksgiving Tea

IMG_4480

I recently had the opportunity to speak at a Tea for some beautiful young girls in the Dublin Classical Conversations Homeschool group.  I decided to share it here as well:

 

In keeping with the Thanksgiving season, I wanted to talk about some of the gifts God has given to us.

2 Peter 1:3 tells us that God’s divine power has given us everything we need for life and for godliness – He’s given everything we need to live and be good.

As we talk about these things God’s given I want us to think about what the Bible says in Luke 12:48 For to whom much is given, from him much will be required;  which simply means the more you are given (animals, things, friends, money, etc), the more responsibility you have to take care of these things – and to share them! For example God gave us a larger house last year and along with it came more responsibility in cleaning and repairing, but also we feel more responsibility in sharing our home with others.

So let’s talk about some of the ‘much’ that has been given us:

images-2

First of all, God has given us a royal position – he has made each of us girls His princess. The Bible says that He is the King of Kings (1 Tim 6:15 He who is the blessed and only Sovereign, the King of kings and Lord of lords)

And Galatians 3:26 says we are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus. Therefore if we are a child of the King that makes us a princess!! That is a pretty special position. So to whom much is given, much is required – Hmm -what is required of a princess?

Our country does not have a king and therefore we don’t have anyone in the position of a princess, but some other countries do. I looked up what some of the requirements are for a princess in another country:

A princess is to study to be well educated –You as God’s princess must study diligently in school, but especially you need to study God’s Word. 2 Tim 2:15 tells us to study to show ourselves approved unto God, a workman that needs not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.

A princess is also to represent her country well by always being well-groomed and well behaved. –You all look like princesses this morning as you are so lovely on the outside. But in order to represent God well we have to look lovely on the inside also and I know yall do.  God tells us in 1 Peter 3:3-6 “Don’t be concerned about the outward beauty of fancy hairstyles, expensive jewelry, or beautiful clothes. You should clothe yourselves instead with the beauty that comes from within, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet a gentle and quiet spirit, which is so precious to God.” That’s what makes us really shine with beauty.

One of my favorite verses says Those who look to him for help will be radiant with joy; (Psalm 34:5) Each time you look in a mirror remember you as God’s princess must radiate or shine for Him on the outside and inside. My daughter and I like to remind each another to radiate. Perhaps y’all would like to do that with your moms.

downloadThe second gift I wanted to mention that God has given us is parents. Yall, in this group, are so very blessed. I hope you are aware that not all young girls have moms they can look up to or dad’s who tell them about Jesus. I know most of your parents and yall have been given the best!  They are teaching you so much!!  So being so blessed, much is required of you. Obey your parents and listen to all they are teaching you.  (Ephesians 6:1 Children, obey your parents because you belong to the Lord, for this is the right thing to do.)

Because you are receiving such godly training from your parents, you have no excuse for not doing right.   You have a responsibility to do right! James 4:17  it is sin to know what you ought to do and then not do it.

images-1

Another gift from God is your friends.  Yall are greatly blessed in this group in that yall are all being taught to love the Lord and He will keep you friends forever.  I see you all enjoying each other so much at school, at play, and at other events. Knowing that you are so blessed with many good friends, what is required of you?

Well, the Bible tells us we must show ourselves friendly if we have friends (Proverbs 18:24 A man who has friends must himself be friendly) That means no excluding others but being friendly to all.

God had a special plan in giving us friends. God planned for friends to stir up each other to love and good works (Heb 10:24)  There are 59 Bible verse that talk about what we are to do for one another such as love, serve, encourage, greet, accept, even sing songs to one another, and  be kind to one another. Especially be kind to one another – think how would I feel if someone were treating me the way I sometimes treat others. (Check out the 59 One Another Scriptures in the New Testament here)

images

Another special gift from God is the Bible – it is given for teaching, pointing out errors, correcting people, and training them for a life that has God’s approval. It equips God’s servants so that they are completely prepared to do good things. (2 Timothy 3:16-17)

So if God has given us His written Words for our training for a good life, what is required of us?   We must take the time to read His Words, memorize His Word, and share His Words with others so they can be prepared for life.

If we want to know how to be good, how to honor our parents, how to be a friend, look in the Bible.  God has given us His ‘how to’ manual for life

Having the Bible and not reading it is like being hungry and having food growing in your back yard and not digging it up and eating it.
Not sharing the Bible with others is like seeing someone who is hungry and not giving them food.
Not obeying the Bible is like being hungry and being given good food but refusing to eat it.

images

Lastly I wanted to talk about the greatest gift God has given – His Son dying on the cross in order to give us forgiveness for our sins. (Eph 1:7 Through the blood of his Son, we are set free from our sins. God forgives our failures because of his overflowing kindness.)

Wow! Talk about to whom much is given!! What is required in response to something that amazing!?!  God just wants us to accept what Jesus did to give us forgivenss and then to forgive each other (one of the one another scriptures is forgive one another Eph. 4:32) Don’t hold grudges, let it go if someone has hurt you. Think how you hurt God at times by not obeying, getting angry, or being unkind – but  God is faithful to always forgive. (Col 3:13 Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.)

 

So we have talked about just a few of the many gifts we have to be thankful for. This Thanksgiving as you think of the ‘much’ that has been given to you, ask God what He wishes you to do with all you have been given.

Luke 12:48 “For to whom much is given, from him much will be required;”

 

 

Celebrate Veterans Any Day!

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 every day 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.

How Should Christians Deal With Halloween?

image1

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.

 

Peace is Holding Jesus’ Hand

For I, the Lord your God, will hold your right hand,
Saying to you, ‘Fear not, I will help you.’
Isaiah 41:13

IMG_1308

When my third son was 2 years old, he always required my hand to hold on to when we rode in the car and as he went to sleep. He would be peaceful as long as he was holding at least one finger. He trusted me to keep him safe in the car or in the dark.

My son taught me a lesson – I should be so needful of God’s presence in my life as my son was of my presence and touch. I believe God gives us our children to train them in the way they should go, but He also gives us them to train us too. We need to find peace in holding Jesus hand just like our children find peace in holding on to us because they trust us.

Proverbs 3:5 tells us to trust in the Lord and Mark 10:15 says we must trust God as a little child trusts. The word ‘trust’ means ‘careless’. When you hear the word ‘careless’, we normally think about irresponsible behavior. But it also has a positive meaning. It means ‘to care less’.

My husband recently gave an excellent illustration concerning this—

When our kids were little, I would tell them that we were going on vacation. They would get giddy with excitement. Never once did they say, ‘how we going to pay for this?’; ‘where we going to stay?’; ‘is our car road worthy?’; ‘where are we going to eat?’; etc. etc. etc.

You see…our kids were ‘care less’. They didn’t think about any of that because they knew that their daddy was the ‘daddy of the details’. Oh, I was planning all of that. I was busy as a little bee working out all the plans. But not my kids! They were ‘care less’!!

We can live ‘care less’ too. We can’t stop the wars, civil unrest, or the storms, but we have been given the power to have peace within in the midst of this tumultuous world by holding onto Jesus, the Prince of Peace, through it all. But how do we do that? How do we take His peace? Here are some suggestions:

Talk to God about everything. Prayer is a way to stay connected to God. Philippians 4:6 says, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.”  1 Peter 5:7 tells us, “ Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.”

Stay in God’s Word. Psalm 119:165 says,There is lasting peace for those who love God’s teachings.” Search the scriptures and claim God’s promises of peace such as:
Psalm 29:11 The LORD gives strength to his people; the LORD blesses his people with peace.
Ps 85:8  I will listen to what God the LORD says; he promises peace to his people, his faithful servants. . .
Psalm 26:3 You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you.

Listen to peaceful music. 1 Samuel 16:23 tells of how David brought a peaceful spirit to King Saul when he played music for him. Zephaniah 3:17 says God rejoices over us with singing– now that is a peaceful thought!!!! – Just think of God singing over you as you sing over your peaceful, sleeping baby.

Let’s make our children aware, that as they hold on to our hand, we are holding on to Jesus hand and trusting our Heavenly Father, the ‘Daddy of the details’. Then they will grow to trust God as they have trusted us. We can pray with them, read and memorize the Word together, and fill our homes with peaceful music. We and our children together can have God’s peace, which is far beyond human understanding, and it will keep our hearts and minds safe in union with Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:7)

 

One of my favorite children’s songs about peace from when my children were young:

 

 

Do your children know why we celebrate Columbus Day?

And then he told them, “Go into all the world
and preach the Good News to everyone, everywhere. 

Mark 16:15

History:

‘In 1492 Columbus sailed the ocean blue!’  But why did he set sail?

“Christopher Columbus had a belief that God intended him to sail the Atlantic Ocean in order to spread Christianity. He said his prayers several times daily. Columbus wrote what he called a Book of Prophecies, which is a compilation of passages Columbus selected from the Bible which he believed were pertinent to his mission of discovery.  Columbus’s own writings prove that he believed that God revealed His plan for the world in the Bible, the infallible Word of God. Columbus believed that he was obeying the mission God staked out for his life when he set sail west across the Atlantic Ocean.”  Phyllis Schlafly Radio Script, October 14, 2002

Washington Irving writes of Christopher Columbus: “ Whenever he made any great discovery, he celebrated it by solemn thanks to God. The voice of prayer and melody of praise rose from his ships when they first beheld the New World, and his first action on landing was to prostrate himself upon the earth and return thanksgivings.”

Teach your children that each Columbus Day, we celebrate the life of a brave explorer who loved Jesus and obeyed the Bible’s command to spread the gospel.  He landed in the Americas on October 12, 1492. It was first celebrated in 1866.   October 12th was made a federal holiday in 1934.  Since 1970 it has been celebrated yearly on the 2nd Monday of October.

The results of Columbus sailing the ocean blue was the discovery that the Earth was indeed round and also the settlement of new lands.  This resulted in the further spreading of the Good News which led eventually to our hearing the Gospel of Jesus.

Activities:

  • Trace his journey on a globe from Spain to San Salvador Island: