Tag Archives: children

December 8; New Life, New Hope

Romans 15-16; Acts 20:7-38

Our family grew by one yesterday. My niece in California gave birth to a daughter. Isn’t the birth of a child a precious, hopeful event? That tiny, totally dependent human entrusted to her parents to nurture, instruct, mold into the person she will become. Those tiny fingers and toes, that little body houses an eternal soul. What a responsibility! What a blessing!

Some people think this world is too evil, and think we shouldn’t be having children. I am not one of them. I rejoice at the birth of my newest great-niece. I see hope in her arrival.

As I read these chapters this morning I thought of baby Keaton. I pray that she will give her heart to Jesus at an early age and be the servant of the Lord Paul talks about. I pray her life will be a testament to the goodness of God, and will inspire others to want Jesus in their lives, too.

I know life won’t always be easy for her. But I pray that she will be grounded in the Truth of Scripture and know the strength that comes from a relationship with God Himself. So, using Paul’s words, let me say to our precious Keaton…

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.

Your Aunt Connie is praying for you, sweetheart.

May 12; You Shouldn’t Feel Guilty

Psalms 55, 58, 61-63; 2 Samuel 17:24-18:18; I Chronicles 2:17

I’m going to be honest. Mother’s Day is not my favorite holiday. My own mother has lived with Jesus since 1996, and I miss her. I am glad that after all these years of only memories of her, those memories no longer hurt. In fact, I take great joy in remembering this sweet, gentle spirit who I was blessed to call, “Mom.”

I will admit to a hint of jealousy toward those of you who are able to hug your mother today, even those of you whose moms can’t remember who you are. I’d love to wrap my arms around my mother today.

Mother’s Day is also a reminder to me that I’m not one. I’ve never been, “Mom,” to anyone, and most days I’ve come to grips with it.  But ever since Mom died, I chose to make this one day a year my personal pity part. I did not go to church on the second Sunday in May for decades. I reserved this holiday as one day to feel the hurt and disappointment, and to wallow in my sadness. (Poor me.)

Now I have responsibilities at church that make playing hooky difficult. So I’ll go to church today, a bit reluctantly. And wait until I get home to feel sorry for myself. Or maybe I’ll decide to not feel sorry for myself at all.

I know that many women hurt worse than me on Mother’s Day. I’ve never buried a child. I don’t have a child living with addiction, or running from God. I don’t have a child in jail, or refusing to speak to me. Those situations must magnify the hurt of being a mother whose heart is broken on a day when motherhood is celebrated.

It might be easy for those of us who hurt to be resentful of those of you who have your children around you today. But let me say this:

Happy Mother’s Day!

This day is not about “womanhood.” This is a day to celebrate you who have the blessing and responsibility to raise babies to adults, to nurture and care, to discipline and hold children who God knit together inside you. It’s also for you women who love and raise children not your own, step moms, grandmas, adoptive moms.

We celebrate you. Don’t think you have to throw out how important we childless women are. This day is not about us. And don’t feel guilty if some of us can’t hide our disappointment, and sadness. You are certainly not responsible for how we feel.

You are being honored today for your position as Mother, as you should be. Enjoy it. Celebrate it. You are blessed. And not allowing yourself to celebrate for fear of hurting someone’s feelings might be diminishing what God has done for you. Don’t worry about us. Most of us can say we are blessed in so many other ways.

David says this in Psalm 62:

One thing God has spoken, two things have I heard; that you, O God, are strong, and that you, O Lord, are loving. Surely you will reward each person according to what he has done.

Today is a day to celebrate Moms. And you will be rewarded accordingly for loving and raising the children God gave you. What an honor! What an awesome reason to celebrate!

The rest of us will be rewarded according to what we do, too. May God find us faithful.

So, again I say, Happy Mothers’ Day, Moms! Enjoy your day to feel pampered, spoiled, appreciated, loved. May God bless you and make you a blessing to those who call you “Mom.”

April 27; Pass It On

I Chronicles 12:23-40; Psalms 2, 78

I volunteer in an after-school Bible club for kids. Our Good News Clubs, under the umbrella of Child Evangelism Fellowship is an amazing privilege and blessing. We actually had a picnic today with all the volunteers from our county. If you are one of them, thank you! I love serving with you in this important ministry. I think we all agree that sharing the Word of God with the next generation is something we cherish, and watching these children grow in understanding is truly indescribable.

Psalm 78 is a history-of-God-lesson; one of many times God’s history with the Jewish people is recorded. Why read about this over and over? The psalmist said, unapologetically, that they will not hide the things God has done from their children, so their children will tell the next generation, “even the children yet to be born, and they in turn will tell their children.” (verse 6)

I hope you are involved in sharing the good news of Jesus with children. Not all of us can volunteer for Good News Club, or teach a Sunday School, or work with Bible School. But I bet you know a child. I bet you have children or grandchildren, nieces and nephews of your own.

The next time one of those precious ones crawls up into your lap, why not tell them a Bible story? Why not tell them about an encounter you have had with God? Maybe your kids think they are too old for snuggling. The next time you are alone with them in the car, or sitting on the front porch, why not share something you read in God’s Word that morning?

Let’s keep the Word of God active in our lives, and pass it on to the next generation. And pray that after we are gone, those kids will be passing it on to yet another generation of people for whom Christ died.

February 27; Out Of The Mouths Of Babes

Numbers 3:1-4:33

I find it significant that when God told Moses to take a census of the eleven tribes of Israel, they were instructed to count all the men twenty and older who were able to serve in the army. Now, when God gave the order to count the Levites, they were to count every male a month old and older.

Obviously, little children were not given jobs for the care of the Tabernacle, any more than the children from the other tribes were expected to go to war. So why count babies at all?

(Side note: in our current climate where murdering babies is applauded, let me remind all of us that life is a gift from God, and every life is precious to Him, and should be to us. God forgive us for what is happening in this country.)

The children born to the Levite clan were going to grow up to be priests, to carry on the work of their fathers as the spiritual leaders of Israel. And I believe they were counted as infants for a reason.

Proverbs 22:6 tells us to train up our children in the truth, in the way they should go. I don’t think it’s ever too early to teach your children the difference between right and wrong. I don’t think a child is ever too young to recognize sin, and experience consequences for sin. I believe children should experience what repentance and forgiveness feel like before they realize their need to go to their Heavenly Father for the same. And I don’t think a child is too young to be used by God in leading someone to the Savior.

A friend of mine shared about a little boy who was standing in the checkout line with his mom at the grocery. The cashier began entering prices into the register, and packing the groceries in bags when the little boy asked her, “Is your name written in the Lamb’s Book of Life?”

The cashier burst into tears. Uncontrolled weeping caught the attention of everyone around, including the manger who quickly came and took the cashier aside. The mom and boy followed.

Right there, in that grocery store, the cashier prayed to receive what Jesus died to give her. And so did the manager!

Out of the mouths of babes.

I think God made a distinction between the census of the eleven tribes and that of the Levites for a reason. A child is too young to wield a sword in battle. But when he is older, he must become a warrior. There will be battles to fight.

But a child is never too young to wield the Sword of the Spirit. We must be teaching our children about God, reading to our children from the Bible, talking to our children about God, leading our children to God’s saving grace, and equipping our children to share Jesus with others. Because God can use a child as much as He can use you and me.

 

April 25 – Making Memories

I Chronicles 3&4

I am having so much fun this week. My nephew and his family are vacationing here with me on this island where I live. As I read about the families listed in these chapters of I Chronicles I can’t help but think about my own.

I remember the day my nephew was born. I was blessed to be a part of his growing-up years, watching him develop into the thoughtful, fun, Christian man he is today. I stood by and watch him fall in love with a precious girl, marry her, and start their family. Their children call me “Aunt Connie”, and I love that.

I sit here today and watch the little ones play, and my heart nearly bursts with love.

When I read about the families in I Chronicles, I realize I’m reading about moms and dads. People who loved their children, who cared for them, who had hopes and dreams like I have for the dear ones in my life.

The future is uncertain. Trouble may come. But I trust my Savior with the lives of my loved-ones. As I think about my family, I pray for them.

I pray for your families, too. May you all know the same confidence in the Lord that I have. May you hug your families. Don’t waste a minute. We’re going to go and watch some sea turtles released back into the ocean today.

Making memories.

Feb 29 – Tough Questions From Five-Year-Olds

I was talking to a couple of mothers of young children recently. The mother of a kindergartener said her son came home and asked, can boys marry boys? He told his mom, “Johnny’s dad wears dresses.”

The mother of a four-year-old said he asked her who he should marry. Could he marry his cousin?

When is it appropriate to talk to your kids about life in the twenty-first century? I pray for all the parents out there. Your child will grow up in a world where homosexual marriages are as common as divorce. (I say that because when I was growing up you rarely heard about people getting a divorce, especially among Christians. Today, you hear it all the time.)

I’m not going to tell you how to raise your children. But I would suggest you sit down today with your spouse and decide what you are going to say to your kids when they come to you with those hard questions. Get out your Bibles. Read what God has to say about the issues. Prepare in advance to hear those hard questions. Because they will come.

I would encourage you to not meet those questions with horror. And always, always make prayer a part of any of those conversations. You might even ask your five-year-old to pray that God will guard his heart, that God will give him the ability to know the truth according to Scripture and honor God with his own choices. Help your children to separate the sin from the sinner, so they can demonstrate God’s love to people who are different without accepting their choices.

Get ready, parents. It’s going to be a bumpy ride. But God is able to give you the words to encourage  your children, to answer them in a way that will honor God.

I’m praying for you. You’ve got an enormous responsibility there in your home.

I’m praying for your children. I’m praying that God will raise up children who will continue to live for Him, regardless of where the world is heading.

Dear God, I do pray for parents today. Our world is spinning out of control, and unless we anchor our kids, they will get caught up in its craziness. Give parents wisdom, clarity concerning your Word. Help them to raise loving children who aren’t swayed by popular opinion. Walk with us in an observable way today, and may Jesus be seen in us no matter our age.