Happy New Year

As we think of resolutions and goals for the new year, remember to consider what you want to build into your children this year.

Some suggestions are:

brotherly love
mind to work
kind speech
redeem the time (use time wisely)

How about focusing on a different quality each month.  Use the word often with a simple meaning.  Point out the trait  in movies you watch or books you read together.  Each month think of activities to reinforce the quality you are emphasizing.  Find a Bible verse that speaks of the trait and memorize it together.  Be creative in making a copy of the verse to put on the fridge.

May you have a year of redeeming the time you have with your children.  Have fun together as you concentrate on consistently and creatively building character into their lives.

Ephes. 5:16 (KJV)
Redeeming the time, because the days are evil.

Ephes. 5:16 (NIV)
making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil.



Keeping Thanks in Thanksgiving: Songs and Psalms

Click on this link somuch-scott to hear a fun, thankful song that the children love.   I couldn’t remember exactly how it went so I called our good friend and minister of music, Scott Eaton, and got him to sing it over the phone.  Start with your hands together and as you sing the song pull them further and further apart until your arms are wide open.  Bring your hands back together in a big clap before the last phrase.

You can sing this next song to  the tune of :”Frere Jacques” also known as “Are You Sleeping?”  Sing it with hands folded in prayer and head bowed:

We are thankful
We are thankful
Yes we are
Yes we are
Thankful for our food
Thankful for our family
Give God thanks
Give God thanks

This would be a good time to memorize Psalm 100 or any psalm of thanks.  If your child can’t read yet, try making a picture for the main words in the psalm to help in memorizing.

Psalm 100:1-5

Make a joyful noise unto the Lord, all ye lands.

Serve the Lord with gladness:

Come before his presence with singing.

Know ye that the Lord he is God: it is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves;

We are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.

Enter into his gates with thanksgiving,and into his courts with praise:

Be thankful unto him, and bless his name.

For the Lord is good; his mercy is everlasting;
and his truth endureth to all generations.


Keeping Thanks in Thanksgiving: Thank You God List

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

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.”


God’s Word to Grandparents

On November 10, 2008 our oldest son, Josh, and his wife, Becca, made us grandparents for the first time.

We are so thankful for Grant William.  He is truly our miracle baby, as you know, if you have been reading Becca’s blog about her walk through infertility for two years.

Now I know that I am inexperienced at being a grandparent, but God’s word has some specific instructions to grandparents that I wanted to share.

Deut. 4:9 (NLT)
“But watch out! Be very careful never to forget what you have seen the Lord do for you. Do not let these things escape from your mind as long as you live! And be sure to pass them on to your children and grandchildren.

Timothy’s grandmother was an example of this to us.  She passed her faith on to her grandson.

2 Tim. 1:5 (NLT)
I know that you sincerely trust the Lord, for you have the faith of your mother, Eunice, and your grandmother, Lois.

Even though our children are grown, God says that we still have work to do concerning our grandchildren.  What a responsibility and a wonderful privilege!!!  What fun we are going to have helping our children teach their children about Jesus!!!!!

Psalm 71:18 (NLT)  Now that I am old and gray, do not abandon me, O God, Let me proclaim your power to this new generation your mighty miracles to all who come after me.


Teaching Patience

Patience is “waiting until later for what I want now”. God is our perfect example of this as He wants our love and affection now, but He waits patiently until we are ready to yield to Him:

And remember, the Lord is waiting so that people have time to be saved…2 Peter 3:15

Don’t you realize how kind, tolerant, and patient God is with you? Or don’t you care? Can’t you see how kind he has been in giving you time to turn from your sin? Romans 2:4

If God has such patience with us, we should have patience with each other:

Be humble and gentle. Be patient with each other, making allowance for each other’s faults because of your love. Ephesians 4:2

As parents, our patience is tested daily and there are times when we all think we have totally lost it. This is when we need to rest in the fact that through knowing God and by His power, we can endure anything:

We also pray that you will be strengthened with his glorious power so that you will have all the patience and endurance you need…Col. 1:11

Knowing God leads to self-control. Self-control leads to patient endurance, and patient endurance leads to godliness. 2 Peter 1:6

One way our children learn patience is from observing us. They will usually respond to a situation the same way we do, so they need to see us exercising our patience in difficult situations. When we lose our patience, it can be make the situation worse; when we are patient, we have a calming effect on our children.

Howbeit for this cause I obtained mercy, that in me first Jesus Christ might show forth all longsuffering (patience), for a pattern to them which should hereafter believe on him. 1 Tim. 1:16

In addition to your modeling patience, you can have fun using creative activities to teach patience. Here are some ideas I have used through the years with my own children and with my two year old class this last month:

1. Our theme song for the month has been from a children’s musical called Music Machine (click to see this album available at Amazon.com). To hear the song about patience click here 07-have-patience1.

2. In this song Herbert the Snail sings “Have Patience”. We had fun making a snail out of clay dough and painting it after it dried. To make the clay-dough, mix 1 cup flour, 1/2 cup salt, and 1/3 cup water. Roll the dough into a snake and curl it like a snail. Use a broken toothpick for feelers.

Herbert the Snail

3. We also learned to sign the song.

4. I had the children all sit down on the carpet and wait quietly until the timer went off (about one minute or so) and then I gave them a small treat and thanked them for waiting patiently.

5. We pointed out patience in any video we watched or book we read.

6. When we read The Tortoise and the Hare, we made a turtle out of a paper plate folded in half for its shell and then added a head, legs, and tail. We talked about how the turtle walked patiently toward his goal.

7. When we read Daddy, Are We There Yet, we pretended to take a car trip and talked about waiting patiently until we arrived at our destination.

8. I thanked them anytime I observed them using patience.

9. I acted out being impatient, which really surprised them to see me act like they do sometimes when they don’t get what they want and when they want it. 😛 ( I later apologized for not being patient)

I’m sure you can come up with more creative ideas of your own. Have fun and remember that with God’s power you can “Have Patience” 😉