Thursday, December 8, 2011

3 Games of Uno

One of life’s greatest joys is having grandchildren. The Bible says in Proverbs 17:6, “Children’s children are the crown of old men; and the glory of children are their fathers.” I am so very privileged to have 12 crowns named (in order) Mark, Micah, Brooklynn, Alexis, Dominic, Corban, Ethan, Marissa, Haylie, Jaclynn, Gianna, and Jaydon…whew! (and since this was originally written we now have twins Madelyn and Colton, and Connor). One of the definitions of a crown is a distinction or reward for achievement – I would like to liken having grandchildren it to the icing on a cake. I had the wonderful privilege of being a mother, (that's the cake part) enduring the pregnancies, labor, sleepless nights, teething, illnesses, disciplining, and teenagers! Thankfully I have also enjoyed the immense pleasure of seeing them saved, grow in grace, develop a walk with God, get married, and become parents…giving me my grandkids - the “crowns” mentioned in Proverbs 17.

One of the blessings in being a grandparent that I did not anticipate is how much I could learn from those precious little munchkins. Most recently the Lord gave me a great picture of how much the Lord enjoys our coming to His presence through my oldest grandson Mark. Mark is 7 ½ years old and loves to play games (or should I say “win” games?). When we go to visit he always likes to have us play a board game, a video game, or perhaps one of his favorite games - Uno.

On a recent visit he wanted to play a game of Uno, but we were unable to play because it was just too late. He had to go to bed, and we were set to leave early in the morning. Mark was so disappointed and pleaded and pleaded with us to please stay long enough to play a game. That was not possible as we had obligations and had to be home at an appointed time; so being the nice Grammy that I am I told him that if he got up early enough I would play with him in the morning. That seemed to suffice and he went to bed for the evening.

What I did not expect was the precious sight we found in the morning…you see Mark, wanting to be sure that he did not miss the opportunity to play a game with me got up sometime in the middle of the night and camped right outside our bedroom door! When my husband got up at 5:00 there he found Mark all curled up in a blanket on the floor in the hallway –is that not the most heartwarming compliment? He wanted so badly to be able to play a game with me before we left that he sacrificed his comfort, and even his sleep! So, at 5:00 am through burning eyes I sat with my grandson and played 3 games of Uno. We both had fun, and he won 2 of the 3 games we played.

So, what lesson did I learn? Well, the Lord reminded of Proverbs 8:17 which says, “I love them that love me; and those that seek me early shall find me.” The Lord promises that when we seek Him early we shall find Him. I love spending any time I can with all of my grand babies, and I especially love when they want to spend time with me! On that day Mark and I were able to spend a little extra time together because he sought me early – and the fact that he sought to spend that time with me made me feel all the more loved and pretty special. Now, my challenge is this: how often do I sacrifice sleep and comfort to get up extra early just so I can spend extra time with the Lord? How often do we earnestly seek Him early? It seems that more often we seek Him “at our earliest convenience” instead of early.

Lord, thank you for this precious and practical lesson you’ve taught me through the love of my grandson and thank you for letting me not only seek you, but find you. I pray that perhaps all of us can learn from the simple lesson and that we’ll all be encouraged to seek our Lord early and enjoy the time we are able to have with Him when we do.

Have a wonderful day!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

The Pink Camouflage Tent

It has been such a long while since I have written a new “Tender Touch.” I have been very busy studying for my Ladies’ Sunday school class, Ladies’ Bible Study, and for our Wednesday night Bible Pals. This morning I have been considering how great it feels to be able to give, and also the importance of seeking, so that you’ll find.

I am sure you’ve all probably figured out the reason those thoughts are flooding my mind is because it is December and Christmas is upon us! I love this time of year. I especially love being able to spend extra time with my family – I love my kids and grandkids so much, they are all so precious to me. We were able to have 3 of our married children and their families with us for Thanksgiving. We had a great time together on Thanksgiving, and then on Friday we went to cut down the Christmas tree…all 18 of us went to cut down one Christmas tree! (How many Italians does it take to get a Christmas tree?)

On Saturday, as the kids were on their way out of town we went to Bass Pro Shop and had the kids’ pictures taken with Santa. Now, this is probably going to sound ridiculous to you, but one of the things that especially warmed my heart was seeing our granddaughter Brooklynn, (she is 6) hand deliver her letter to Santa. I didn’t know she had written a letter, and here she was all prepared for her visit with her letter in hand. For some reason when I saw her handing her letter to Santa it brought tears to my eyes – she is so cute. After they had their pictures taken I asked Brooklynn what she had asked Santa for and she responded mostly with what you would expect – except then she went on to add that she had also said, “and for my Dom, can you please bring him… because he would really like that, and for my little Jaclynn, she would really like…” I was so moved that she included in her letter things she would like for her brother and sister to receive.

While we were at Bass, Brooklynn spotted a pink camouflage tent that came with a sleeping bag, compass, and a flashlight! She was so excited about it, and was really hoping she could get it. Because Brooklynn was with them, her parents did not buy the tent, and asked if we could go back and get it a little later – and of course, sadly they were out of stock. The tent was not available on line, and so I began looking and found some other pink tents that might work – but they were not camouflage, and they did not include the other goodies – they were not THE tent. I called the store again, (even though they already told us we couldn’t get it from them, or order it online), and I asked where the nearest store was. Now, as a Grammy, of course I would go to nearly any extreme to get something, but the nearest store is 360 miles away! So, I called to find out if they could deliver the tent to my son’s home and success- they could do that…the tent was available and the deal was done! I am sure it sounds silly to some of you, but I was so happy that I was able to locate and get that pink camouflage tent for our little Bookie – so, the lesson is…

Luke 11:9-13 "And I say unto you, Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you. For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened. If a son shall ask bread of any of you that is a father, will he give him a stone? or if he ask a fish, will he for a fish give him a serpent? Or if he shall ask an egg, will he offer him a scorpion? If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?"

Now, the gift will be from “Santa” (daddy and mommy), so I had to check with my son to see about paying the extra shipping charges. When I talked to him his response was, “yes, get it – she has her heart set on it.” The extra cost of $15 is really minimal compared to the joy she’ll have when receives the gift she really wants. So, how much more does our heavenly Father want to give us gifts when we ask Him? It made me so happy to have a part in helping my son to get his daughter the gift she wanted and I am so thankful to know, or at least have a glimpse of how much God wants to give me the things I ask Him for– aren’t you?

Have a wonderful day!

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Good Success

One of my greatest desires and concerns as a young mother was to see my children grow to fulfill God’s will for their lives. I always wanted to be as good a mother as I could possibly be – my children are my heart – no matter how grown up they are, they are constantly on my mind and in my prayers.

Now I am not a young mother – I have eight adult children and 12 precious grandchildren. As I write this my eyes are welling overcome with love for each one of them. I want so desperately for each one to have “good success.” There is only one verse in the Bible that promises just that…good success. It is in Joshua 1:8 which says, “This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success.”

I can’t say I’ve arrived, but I am happy to say that it looks like we’re on the right path. A few weeks ago my husband and I had the joy of spending a few days with 6 of our grandchildren. On one of the days we took the kids to park. They had a great time playing together, and they began to make new friends with the other children that were playing in the park. As I sat watching them interact with the other children, I began to reminisce in my mind of when my own children were little and how so often they would end up giving the other children gospel tracts.

It seems that I no sooner had that thought/memory when our oldest grandson came over and asked if we had a tract that he could give to one of the kids he met as he had just invited him to church! Praisalujah! I was one happy grammie! At that point my grandkids changed their focus from playing to soulwinning. In fact they began to look at all the people in the park and wanted to make sure that each one received an invitation to church! I found it so precious when my granddaughter looked at the nearby school (whose yard was right by the park separated by a chain link fence) and said, "Grammie, what about all those kids - we need to ask them too!"

I know that I was far from being a perfect mom, but I sincerely tried to do my best to follow the Lord as I was raising my children. I sincerely pray to do my best now as the mom of adult children and as a grammie. On that day I saw God’s mercy on my imperfections and found such joy as I witnessed my children’s children reaching out to the other kids at the park. "But the mercy of the LORD is from everlasting to everlasting upon them that fear him, and his righteousness unto children’s children." Psalm 103:17

Thank you Lord for your precious Word and your loving mercy. Have a wonderful day!

Friday, August 5, 2011

It's How We "Role"

Recently my husband and I had the joy of keeping 3 of our precious grandchildren with us for a few days while our son and his wife went to a conference. We had a lot of fun with the kids, and of course as grandparents we wanted to spoil our grandkids.

On one of the days we decided we would take the kids to Chuck E Cheese for lunch and most especially to play the games. We had to run a few errands to complete a few church related tasks. Well, the boys started to get restless – they were so excited that they just had a hard time containing themselves. After being warned a few times, my husband finally resorted to warning them that if they would not behave they would not be able to go to Chuck E Cheese’s. Unfortunately the boys committed the final act that forced my husband to keep his word.

When I got in the car, (I promise I was only in the store for 10 minutes – tops), my husband informed me that we were not going. I felt badly, but honestly he felt worse! He then told me that what he was most troubled about was the fact that the kids were not sorry for their dastardly deeds.

We then went to make one last stop before going home and I was left in the car with kids. As soon as my husband got out of the car I spoke with kids and asked them if they knew they had misbehaved, to which they replied, “Yes.” I reminded them that their Papa loved them very much and felt badly that they had disobeyed him. I didn’t say anything else about the matter – and I didn’t need to.

When my husband got back in the car – the first thing the kids did was apologize for their behavior. He was barely in the car when they were telling their Papa just how sorry they were for their actions and they asked him to forgive them. At that point my husband was very relieved and happily

let them know that because they had apologized and asked his forgiveness he would go ahead and take them to Chuck E Cheese. Then everyone was happy and we had a great time!

I thought about the whole matter and realized we had just enacted a perfect example of the work of the Father and the Holy Spirit in the lives of Christians. Our Heavenly Father wants to give us those things that will bring us joy, but we often miss out on the joys that He has for us because we fail to submit to His will and plan for us. When we disobey our Father, He is most disappointed and desires that we seek His forgiveness. The Holy Spirit, our comforter and teacher reminds us of our sins and convicts us so that we’ll get things right with God. When we admit we've done wrong and ask forgiveness, God hears us and will bless us according to His good pleasure.

It works like this: Jeremiah 29:11, "For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end. "
Jeremiah 18:10, “If it do evil in my sight, that it obey not my voice, then I will repent of the good, wherewith I said I would benefit them.”
John 14:26, “But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.”
Psalms 66:18, 19, “If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me: But verily God hath heard me; he hath attended to the voice of my prayer.”

I’m so happy that it all worked out – we went the full cycle, and each one of us represented our proper roles…my husband as the father, me as the comforter, and my grandkids as the children that sinned and then received forgiveness…and thus we all got what we wanted! What a wonderful reminder that was to me – and I hope to you as well.

Have a wonderful day!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Are You Seeking?

On May 5, I had the tremendous privilege and blessing of having my daughter be our guest speaker for the Mother’s Day Banquet. Our Theme was “Will you Say I Do?” The evening was much like a wedding. We had 4 ladies in the church model wedding gowns, we had special music, and then we had special and touching moments that brought tears to our eyes. Through tears I reminded the ladies that just like a wedding we were shedding tears at the ceremony and then we would have fun and games at the reception. We enjoyed a delicious dinner, played the "Newlymet" Game (like the Newlywed Game)...and topped it all off with a wedding cake. We had a wonderful turn out and a lot of fun!

My daughter, in keeping with the bridal theme, gave us some beauty tips – TRUE beauty tips. As she was speaking she used an illustration that has stuck with me. She likened allowing the Word of God to enhance our beauty by responding to the instructions found in the Bible. She gave the analogy that if someone were to tell you that you had a broccoli floweret stuck in your teeth, you wouldn’t just leave it there – you would make sure to take care of it; so, for enhanced beauty we should respond the same way when we read from the Bible. What a clear picture!

This morning in my Bible reading I caught just a little statement that I would like to share with you today. I Chronicles 28:8 says, “Now therefore in the sight of all Israel the congregation of the Lord, and in the audience of our God, keep and seek for all the commandments of the Lord your God: that ye may possess this good land, and leave it for an inheritance for your children, after you for ever.” As I read that verse I thought that part of the problem we have in making the changes that God shows us we need in our lives is that we are not seeking for all the commandments. I then thought of the verse that says, “For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass: For he beholdeth himself, and goeth his way, and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was.” James 1:23, 24 That’s what we tend to do – we see ourselves and the areas in our lives where we need to grow and improve upon when we read the Bible, but because we are not really “seeking” for them – we read it, see it, and then walk away and forgot what we saw. It’s because we are reading the Bible as an exercise instead of earnestly “keeping and seeking" God's commandments.

Ladies, when we are getting ourselves ready for the day – we use the mirror to make sure that there is nothing in our teeth, no goo in the eyes, that our make-up is applied properly, that every hair is in place, and then normally before we leave we take a good look at the finished product to make sure that everything looks the way we want them to look. We use the mirror to seek for error, hoping for “perfection;” but if we see a problem we most definitely fix it – we wouldn’t walk out the door with a gaping hole in the back, or an unsightly stain! The same should hold true with our Bible reading – we should as we read earnestly seek God’s commandments so that we can fix ourselves spiritually!

It is my heart’s desire to “possess” everything God has for me – and He promises just that if I will keep and seek for all the commandments of the Lord my God. Ladies – when you read your Bible today – will you do so not as an exercise, but as a way of seeking to grow and improve in your walk with God? Earnestly seek for any little broccoli floweret to remove – if you do you’ll be much more confident when you smile:)

Have a wonderful day!

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Mysterious?...Not so much

We have all heard the saying, “The Lord moves in mysterious ways.” That is not in the Bible verbatim, but the idea or concept is definitely true. God has His way of getting things done – and of course His ways are not our ways, His thoughts are not our thoughts, and His ways are higher than ours. "For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts." Isaiah 55:9 One thing I do know is that I am amazed at the way the Lord works things out – especially when we’re so often afraid of the very things that become our greatest blessings!

Today my husband is performing the first wedding at Lighthouse Baptist Church since its inception on February 21, 2010. The circumstances that led to this day are very unusual to say the least. We received a call from a lady that we met while out door knocking before the church began. That in itself is a pretty amazing story because when we knocked on her door, she was in her house with a group of ladies praying for the new start-up church in town…ours! She attended our first service and we never saw her again. She had her own church she was attending and continued going to her home church.

Now, let’s fast forward one-year. This same lady had car trouble and was unable to go to her home church, so she decided to visit us again. The Lord has since led her to continue to attend our church, our Ladies Bible Study on Tuesday mornings, and even to host one of the tables at our banquet last week! On Thursday we received a call from her because a couple dear to her was planning to get married in Tahoe – but because of the terrible weather they had to cancel their wedding! Needless to say they were very disappointed; she wanted to know if there was any way they could have the wedding at our church, and if my husband would be willing to perform the wedding.

Within one hour, my husband met with them and as is his custom, he talked to them about their salvation – though they both believed in God neither of them knew the Lord as their personal Savior so my husband had the privilege of seeing them gloriously saved! So now this precious couple not only had a church to get married in – they were doing so as God’s precious newborn babes!

They were afraid they weren’t going to be able to have their wedding – instead they were able to get married in an adorable little country church – they used many of the church’s decorations, they had a fellowship hall to use for their reception, and most of those planning to attend lived in or near our town so more of their loved ones were able to attend than if they had gone to Tahoe!

Bad weather mysterious? …not so much; after all it isn’t the first time God sent hail and thunder to save His children! ((Exodus 9:23, I Samuel 2:10, 7:10)

Have a wonderful day!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Prayer and a Little Chocolate

This past weekend we held our first banquet! It was exciting for many reasons – it was our first, we had a lady in our church organizing the entire event, we had a couple that are new Christians cooking the meal, and every table was being decorated according to a different theme by the host and hostess of each table. That took such a huge load off me…I thought:)

As the week progressed I found out that we were having an overnight guest – the speaker staying at our home – after having 6 of our grandkids stay with us for a few days during spring break. Now – really that was not an issue, but it did add a little work. We also decided to keep 3 of our grandchildren with us through Sunday as we were planning to be at their house for our grandson’s special Grandparent’s day at school on Monday…so on Sunday in addition to having the house ready for lunch for 7 guests, and taking all the table decorations to church to set my table after the morning service, I did also have to make sure the kids were ready in time to pick up a very special lady I bring to church every Sunday morning.

Well, whew! I had everyone and everything ready by 9:40! I was doing great…until I realized that my husband had taken the car keys to church with him – I was stranded at home. In the meantime – I began getting phone calls from all the people that were calling to let us know they weren’t going to be able to make it to church…not a good thing for a pastor’s wife to hear on Sunday morning – especially on the very special morning of our first banquet. Then I tried to call my hubby to get the keys, but he wasn’t answering his phone. I proceeded to call everyone whose cell number I had in the church and none of them answered their phones! By now it was 9:56 and I still was stranded at home! Here I had worked so hard to be organized, on time …all together, you know ready and handling everything just fine – now I was late and frazzled because I couldn’t get in touch with anyone. As a last ditch effort I texted everyone at once to let them know I was stranded at home, and that Pastor had the car keys! At last – success! My husband called to let me know he was on his way with the keys…yeah!

My husband was able to make it back to the church on time, but I was late picking up my dear Mrs. Farmer (she is 94), and by the time I got in to Sunday school it was 10:15…only to discover that I had left the bulletins at home…ugh! I picked myself up, walked back to the car out in the rain, and rushed home to get the bulletins. As I was home I was praying, “Lord, please help me I am totally stressing and I really could use a little help, and please can I have just a bite of chocolate? – I think it would help right about now.” I checked my candy dish - it was Nanna’s and I use it to store seasonal candy (just like she did), and of course after having 6 grandchildren with me – all of my mint chocolate (green) candy kisses were gone (no surprise there:). As I was rushing out the door, the Lord reminded me that I had a few Valentine candy’s left (if my husband hadn’t eaten them) and so I hurriedly checked and voila…chocolate!

I thanked the Lord as I enjoyed my little pleasure and realized that if He cared enough to give me chocolate for my stressful moment – surely He had the rest of the day fully under control!

We had a wonderfully successful banquet with an amazing attendance of 117, a great spirit – truly a blessed evening. So, when you find yourself stressing and looking for that little bite of comfort that you need, remember to pray – God answers even the little ones – after all He helped me through with prayer and a little chocolate.

“My son, eat thou honey, because it is good; and the honeycomb, which is sweet to thy taste: So shall the knowledge of wisdom be unto thy soul: when thou hast found it, then there shall be a reward, and thy expectation shall not be cut off.” Psalm 24:13, 14

Have a wonderful day!

Monday, March 14, 2011

What Mean These Stones?

I am a very sentimental person – for that reason I find myself doing certain things, holding on to certain possessions, and even practicing traditions that some would consider silly or frivolous. “Why?” you might ask and this morning in my Bible reading I found an answer that helped to see why these things might mean so much to me.

“And Joshua said unto them, Pass over before the ark of the LORD your God into the midst of Jordan, and take ye up every man of you a stone upon his shoulder, according unto the number of the tribes of the children of Israel: That this may be a sign among you, that when your children ask their fathers in time to come, saying, What mean ye by these stones? Then ye shall answer them, That the waters of Jordan were cut off before the ark of the covenant of the LORD; when it passed over Jordan, the waters of Jordan were cut off: and these stones shall be for a memorial unto the children of Israel for ever.” Joshua 4:5-7

Throughout the Bible we see the Lord commanding certain things to be done “as a memorial” or in some cases as proof of wonderful and miraculous things that happened for the next generation to behold and therefore believe.

I am not by any means a hoarder, but I can’t throw away a card written to me by my loved ones. I have a files of drawings and notes from our kids when they were young – I have baby books for each of my children that hold my “young mother” memories, pictures, and statistics of their growth and speech patterns – they are all so precious to me.

For me, writing the Tender Touch is a way to leave something for my kids – a glimpse of my heart and how the Lord speaks to me…hope you all don’t mind my sharing in this way – but I have heard that once something is on the “net” it never goes away! So here is a list of "stones" that you can leave for your children in time to come.

1. Write your prayer requests, and then mark the date when they’re answered! This weekend while cleaning and re-organizing my husband found a prayer sheet from the time we knew the Lord wanted us to plant Lighthouse Baptist Church in Oakdale. We had listed specific items – church meeting place, financial needs, size and rent for home, etc. about 14 items – and in every case the Lord gave us exactly what we prayed for – or more!
2. Tell your kids and grandkids stories about your life growing up and memories of your heart – when you’re gone they will become more precious.
3. Take lots of pictures and label them – date, time, occasion (you’ll forget otherwise)
4. If you have things that carry sentimental value – tell your kids what they mean to you, and why.
5. Write your kids notes. Keep a diary of sorts for them for after you’re gone.

This past Christmas a dear lady in our church gave me a journal for a mom to leave for her kids. Her mom passed away a few years ago and she said that anytime she finds anything her mom wrote it is so precious – so she gave it to me to leave for my children. Of course there are many things that people do to remember their loved ones, but I believe that writing is one of the best “stones” we can leave for our children.

The Lord gave us His Word; remember He first wrote the commandments on the two tables of stones, as His love letter to us. Through His written Word we have many great and precious promises; we have the truth, answers to life's questions, the place learn wisdom, knowlege, success, prosperity, and most importantly a way to know Him and the way He has provided our salvation.

These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God.” I John 5:13

“And these things write we unto you, that your joy may be full.” I John 1:4

Saturday, March 12, 2011

From Moses to Moms II

In continuing with pondering what moms can learn from Moses – I feel I must first qualify why I would even compare Moses’ role to that of a mother – he is a man of God, BUT – he was the one leading the children under the direction of God, the Father! So, with the relationship being the “go between” from the Father to the children of Israel – the natural connection is to that of a mother.

In considering the things mothers can learn from Moses I saw several lessons that I find not only insightful, but really helpful – even for mothers like me that no longer have young children to train.

In my last posting I left off really at the beginning – making sure that a mom realizes that she should instill the ordinances, rules, behavior, and responsibilities she expects from her children. I would like to interject that Moses listened to the counsel he received from his father-in-law – he really could have been proud and said something like, “look, I spend a lot of time with God – and He is leading – and He hasn’t said anything about that – so I think I’m good.” Moses was a humble man – a meek man, (Now the man Moses was very meek, above all the men which were upon the face of the earth.) Number 12:3.

The next progression I see is the need then to train children to understand that they should follow the authorities that you place over them. “Moreover thou shalt provide out of all the people able men, such as fear God, men of truth, hating covetousness; and place such over them, to be rulers of thousands, and rulers of hundreds, rulers of fifties, and rulers of tens: And let them judge the people at all seasons: and it shall be, that every great matter they shall bring unto thee, but every small matter they shall judge: so shall it be easier for thyself, and they shall bear the burden with thee.” Exodus 18:21, 22.

Many children are trained to obey their parents, but feel very comfortable coming up against anyone that does anything slightly different than their parents – in other words they have not learned to be respectful of their elders, or other authorities. Now, I want you to notice that I am very careful to state that you should train your children to follow the authorities that YOU place over them. Obviously, we must obey the law and so forth – but my intent in this is to state that you must be careful about who you allow to influence your children, from the babysitter to their teachers. It is for this reason that I personally believe that a Christian educator is your only choice! Notice the list of qualifications: they must fear God, be truthful (evolution?), hating covetousness…in other words they should be godly. I am not trying to slam those of you that put your children in the public school system, BUT that is not something I personally felt comfortable doing…and I worked at a public school! Psalm 1:1 says, “Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful.” It is entirely possible that your child could be trained (or counseled by) an ungodly teacher – or a system that teaches ideas and philosophies that differ from the Bible! I will also say that there are some godly teachers that work in the public school and do so for the sake of the children that have no other option.

So, we have gone from training at home, to now working on the training they get outside the home; in this I see that Moses went before the Lord for the wisdom he needed. Mom you won’t need to contend with as many children as Moses did, but it is vital that you go to the Lord in prayer so you’ll know what you need to teach your children. We are fortunate today in that we have the complete Word of God – but do you pray and seek the Lord and His Word for the answers and help you need? Moses was an intercessor – he went before the Lord on behalf of the “children.” He did so on many occasions.

1. He went before the Lord and received guidance. Exodus 19:3 says, “And Moses went up unto God, and the LORD called unto him out of the mountain, saying, Thus shalt thou say to the house of Jacob, and tell the children of Israel;”
2. He obeyed the Lord and instructed the children accordingly. “And Moses came and called for the elders of the people, and laid before their faces all these words which the LORD commanded him.” Exodus 19:7
3. He was angry with the children when they were disobedient to the Father Exodus 32:19, “And it came to pass, as soon as he came nigh unto the camp, that he saw the calf, and the dancing: and Moses’ anger waxed hot, and he cast the tables out of his hands, and brake them beneath the mount.”
4. He disciplined the children for their own good, as God commanded. "And he took the calf which they had made, and burnt it in the fire, and ground it to powder, and strawed it upon the water, and made the children of Israel drink of it.” Exodus 32:20
5. He helped them to get things right so they could be blessed – like a mom he wanted what was best for them so they could be happy. “For Moses had said, Consecrate yourselves to day to the LORD, even every man upon his son, and upon his brother; that he may bestow upon you a blessing this day.”
6. He was willing to die in the children’s place. Exodus 32: 31-32 says, “And Moses returned unto the LORD, and said, Oh, this people have sinned a great sin, and have made them gods of gold. Yet now, if thou wilt forgive their sin--; and if not, blot me, I pray thee, out of thy book which thou hast written."
7. He prayed for his children according to their personal strengths, weaknesses, and their specific needs fully trusting that God would answer his prayer – he had FAITH! Deuteronomy 33
8. Moses, before he died, sought earnestly to prepare Joshua with all that had to give. He wanted to make sure that the next generation had a prepared leader. “And Joshua the son of Nun was full of the spirit of wisdom; for Moses had laid his hands upon him:” Deuteronomy 34:9

In truth Moses is a wonderful picture of our Saviour, our intercessor who was not only willing to die for our sin, but indeed died for our sin and our salvation; but I find so many helpful applications that I believe will help us as mothers in our endeavor to see our children reach their full potential…fulfilling God’s perfect will for their lives! It is my prayer that the Lord will bless you! Have a wonderful day!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

To Moms from Moses

As I sit to write today’s blog posting I realize that it has been such a long time since I have posted. I have been praying about today’s posting for several weeks and the true prayer of my heart is that it will be of help and a blessing to the ladies the Lord leads to read this. If for no one else, I pray it will be something my own children and grandchildren will one day read and find a glimpse of the thoughts that cross my heart as I read from God’s precious Word.

Every year I read my Bible cover to cover – at least once and many years I read it at least twice. I always follow a schedule of sorts – a number of pages a day (right now its 10) and sometimes I read it in alphabetical order (Acts to Zephaniah); this year I am reading it in order of “types” of books… Epistles, The Law, History, Psalms, Poetry, Prophecy, Gospels. Interjected with that I have been doing a study on Proverbs 31 – so I am reading that every day. I find amazing the different things I have learned simply by reading my Bible not only daily, but also in different sequences – I have found it to offer different prospective to my meditation and in the instruction I gain.

Anyway, I said all of that to say that this year in my reading I have seen a lesson that I believe is helpful to all women that work with children, but most especially to mothers. For many years my husband taught an adult Sunday school class, “The HomeBuilders” that was geared to young married couples. We loved working with the wonderful people God brought to us, and have kept in contact with so many of them through these last 21 years since the class started! Now I’m a grandma 12 times over and my own children are the ages of the couples we taught and worked with back then…I’m old!

In reading through the Law portion of the Bible I see Moses and the children of Israel and I find so many patterns that I believe are not only a lesson to moms, but also a picture of the progression raising children should follow.

In Exodus I see the travail of the birth (of the nation of Israel) – I see the difficulty of “getting them out” and then the victory when they go through the Red Sea! I picture that as the actual birth – think mom of the difficulties that plaque you throughout your pregnancy and then when it’s time to birth the baby they have to exit the water (amniotic fluid – ie Red Sea) to be released to their home! Initially the birth is said to be very traumatic for babies, which is why God very graciously does not allow us to remember it! At birth the babies cry without realizing that we, as parents will provide their needs…just like the children of Israel!

The next progression I find that again reminds me of working with and developing children is when Moses is spending his whole day counseling the children of Israel. I have pictured this as the new mom being at her baby’s beck and call all day and all night!! Now, when they’re newborns that is to be expected and mom’s job is to get the baby on a schedule of sleeping at night, being awake during the day, and eating on a healthy schedule. The problem I find is the same one that Moses encountered and that was not knowing when to go the next step – when to expect them to know what to do!

Moses father-in-law saw what was going on and counseled Moses that what he was doing was not a good thing! Mom – the same is true for you – you should not spend your day undoing your children’s mishaps for years on end! You should be training them right from the beginning. When they begin to crawl, stop them from touching things they should not be touching. Train them to eat properly! All kids go through putting food in their hair, throwing food on the floor, not wanting to sit in the high chair, etc. BUT your job is to train them! Moses was wearing himself out! “When they have a matter, they come unto me; and I judge between one and another, and I do make them know the statutes of God, and his laws. And Moses’ father in law said unto him, The thing that thou doest is not good.” Exodus 18:16, 17 In other words, he was waiting until they did something and then judging the matter – they had no rules to begin with!

The next bit of advice that Jethro gave to Moses was this: “Hearken now unto my voice, I will give thee counsel, and God shall be with thee: Be thou for the people to God-ward, that thou mayest bring the causes unto God: And thou shalt teach them ordinances and laws, and shalt shew them the way wherein they must walk, and the work that they must do.” Exodus 18:19-20.

Mom – that is your job! You can start this when are even just months old! 2 years old is too late to begin training your children. Start with their schedule, then with how to behave when you feed them, how to behave in the stroller, what not to touch as well as what they can touch, where not to go and where they are free to play – and with that make sure you are constantly doing so because you love them and while showing your love for them – your goal is to train them to be obedient, individual, strong, independent, and responsible children. Notice that they needed to learn ordinances: the proper order – and WHO in charge of the orders, laws: rules; the way wherein they must walk: how to behave; and work: responsibility!

Too many moms are pulling their hair and spinning their wheels all day because they are just allowing their children to do what they will and then correct the problem instead of establishing ordinances, laws, proper behavior, and responsibilities! Being a mom is a 24/7 job, BUT I find none other that may bring more to our next generation! They are tough days – but stick with it…and the earlier you begin working on the ordinances, laws, behavior, and responsibility – the better it will be for all of you! It is much easier to spank a 2 year old than a 10 year old – and you will get much better results in the long run!

There is much more on this lesson from Moses to Mom – but I’ll save that for another day! For today ladies I pray you’ll have a wonderful day!

Monday, January 10, 2011

I Didn't Get the Email

I didn’t get the email…but God gave me the message. This past Saturday there was a baby shower given for my daughter-in-law Mary celebrating the coming birth of my 12th grandchild. He will make the score an even 6 boys to 6 girls! It was a very nice intimate shower held at the Olive Garden, and all 12 of us ladies enjoyed our time together.

After we finished eating I overheard my daughter-in-law’s sister and mother discussing who would speak first. I really didn’t know what they were talking about and then when they looked at me I realized that they were expecting both moms to give a few words of encouragement and wisdom to Mary. When they noticed my dumbfounded look Elizabeth (Mary’s sister) said, “Didn’t you get my email?” Now, here is the funny part. Earlier in the week Elaine (my daughter-in-law’s mother) told me that she wanted to ask me something and that she would be sending me an email, and I suspected that she might ask me to give a devotion, but when I received a message asking for contact information for other family members I asked the Lord to forgive my pride in thinking they would want me to speak and gave them the needed information.

Now, even though I knew I was wrong in thinking they were asking me to speak, I still found myself pondering what I would say to Mary – in fact that morning before the shower I even almost wrote it down “just in case.” Funny thing was I kept thinking I was being ridiculous and even proud – when all along it was the Lord relating the message from the email to me, and giving me thoughts of what to say to Mary. So, when all was said and done – even though I didn’t get the email – I did get the message:) I was able to share the thoughts the Lord had laid on my heart with Mary – and while I thought I was being ridiculous – He was making me prepared!

And so…Mary (here it is in written form)

When I was a young mother of 24 (I had 2 children at the time) we were probably suffering through the most terrible recession I had ever experienced. My husband was self-employed in construction and people were not having anything done to their homes with 17% interest rates. During that year (1982) the Lord surprised us with the coming of another child! Wow – what a surprise! We were broke and my baby was only 8 months old when I made the discovery of our coming child. While others thought I was being careless, I felt that God was giving us a child to show us that He had a plan to take care of us - it gave me hope. Thankfully, that was the case and by the time our precious daughter Kellie was born (on my actual 25th birthday), business had turned around and we were able to purchase a parcel to begin to build our dream home! I have seen the same miracle happen with you and Jason. Mary – during this year in preparation to plant a church the Lord has seen fit to give you a precious child – and as He did with us, He given you manifold blessings in your lives this year as you have lived by faith. We know the miracles we have seen God perform this year- He has a special way of blessing us and showing us that He will provide for us – often in the form of a child.

So, now here you are ready to have your 4th child, and you’re a pastor’s wife in a new church and I know that you want to be the best you can be in all you do – so here are a few thoughts to remember.

1. There is no “job description” for the pastor’s wife. You are a wife that is married to a pastor. Do not try to fit in the mold of someone else you have seen because you think that is your job – your job is to be a help meet for your husband. You walk with God and let Him lead you to be what you need to be for your husband.

2. Let your kids be kids. Again, seek the Lord and let Him lead you in raising your children – don’t create unrealistic expectations for them simply because they are the pastor’s kids. Again, they are children whose dad is a pastor. Don’t let worries about appearances alter what God wants for your children.

3. None of us will be perfect wives or parents, but thankfully God looks on the heart and He knows that you’re trying to raise your children for His glory – He will bless you as you do your best to follow Him.

I am reminded of the verse in Luke that says, "And it was revealed unto him by the Holy Ghost.." Luke 2:26 because though I didn’t get the email – God still gave me the message - and in raising children God will reveal to you by the Holy Ghost what He wants you to do. We serve an amazing God who is able to do all things!

I love you very much.


Ladies, hope you don't mind my sharing this personal note...hope it's a blessing.

Have a wonderful day!

Friday, January 7, 2011

It's Okay to be a Child

On New Year’s Eve we spent the evening with the family at my daughter’s house, but we actually slept at my in-law’s home. Our son Jon and his family stayed there with us as well. They of course had their children with them – Corban, 4 (on December 26) and Marissa 2. When we left my daughter’s house the kids were sleeping and slept the whole ride home and did not even wake up when we got to the house. Jon and Rachel put the kids to bed in the guest room that was set up for them. A couple hours later in the dark of the night we heard Corban calling out to his dad (a few times), “Daddy, Daddy, where are you? I’m here in the room.” The kids had never spent the night there and so were not familiar with their surroundings – I was so pleased that he did not cry because it told me that he was secure - he knew that his dad was within the sound of his voice. I am sure he must have been at least a little afraid; it was dark, he didn’t know where he was, and he couldn’t see where his parents were. As I thought of my precious little grandson, the Lord gave me the following thoughts.

I started thinking about the times we find ourselves in places we’ve never been before. Maybe you've found yourself in a situation that you never thought you would experience – a place where all you can see is darkness with no idea how you got there or where you'll end up. I recall a few times like that in my life – like when I was at the hospital listening to the doctor telling me there was a “mass” that had overtaken my daughter’s kidney; or the time our family was in the waiting room after my brother’s surgery and the doctor came out and told us that my brother’s cancer was inoperable – times like that are numbing, frightening, and lonely; and if you’ve ever been “there” you know how helpless that feels.

I am reminded of the song “Lean on Me” that says, “when you get to the place that I’m all you have, then you’ll find I’m all you need;” not only a great song, but a tremendous truth. It is during those times that we realize we really are children, and truly what a wonderful realization that becomes. We all have times that we wish we could return to the simplicity of childhood – and I am here to remind you that we can live that simply every day!

Here are a few thoughts to consider...

But when Jesus saw it, he was much displeased, and said unto them, Suffer the little children to come unto me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God. Verily I say unto you, Whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child, he shall not enter therein. And he took them up in his arms, put his hands upon them, and blessed them.” Mark 9:14-16 God wants us to come to Him as children, calling out KNOWING that He will hear, and will come and help – just like my grandson called his dad.

“Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven.” Matthew 18:4

So the next time you feel lost and alone, in the dark and frightened – call unto your Heavenly Father- He will come to you, He will help you, and He will comfort you! “Call unto me, and I will answer thee, and shew thee great and mighty things, which thou knowest not.” Jeremiah 33:3

Remember you are not alone! “…lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.” –Jesus (Matthew 28:20).

You don't have to be in the dark. "Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life." John 8:12

Don't be afraid. "Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom." Luke 12:32

It is my prayer that this simple reminder will help you to remember it's okay to be a child, in fact it's a good thing. Have a wonderful day!