Prayer of St. Francis of Assisi
Lord, make me an instrument of Your peace.
Where there is hatred, let me sow love;
Where there is injury, pardon;
Where there is doubt, faith;
Where there is despair, hope;
Where there is darkness, light;
And where there is sadness, joy.
O Divine Master,
Grant that I may not so much seek
To be consoled as to console;
To be understood as to understand;
To be loved as to love;
For it is in giving that we receive;
It is in pardoning that we are pardoned;
And it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.
Family First Checklist
courtesy of Walk in the Word.com
“For which of you, desiring to build a tower, does not first sit down and count the cost, whether he has enough to complete it?” Luke 14:28
Do you want to give your family first place? Then consider these four aspects to lasting, godly commitment that you need to make:
1: Love your family first by having a total commitment to Christ.
It all begins with your vertical commitment to Christ. Anything less than a 100 percent radical devotion to Jesus is no commitment at all. Follow Christ first, above everything–above your spouse; above your children; above your family. Show them that you can actually love them better when you love Christ first than you could if you were ignoring Jesus and trying to love them in your own strength.
In their honest moments, most people know the struggle not to love other people, especially their families, more than they love God. But Jesus said in Matthew 10:37, “Whoever loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me, and whoever loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me.” Jesus must be first.
2: Love your family first by calculating the cost.
Jesus said in Luke 14:28, “For which of you, desiring to build a tower, does not first sit down and count the cost, whether he has enough to complete it?” If you want to build a tower, have a great lawn, lower your golf handicap, or have a marvelous, joy-filled family, it’s going to cost you.
To be Christ’s disciple demands careful analysis. It means you have to count the cost of that commitment ahead of time. Can I finish the course? Can I give what success in this priority demands? Can I be a faithful husband for my whole life? Can I be the wife God has called me to be? Can I be the parent? Because if I can’t keep my promises, I have no business making the commitment. But to be standing beside your spouse ten, twenty, thirty, forty, fifty years later and to be able to say, “I still do” is powerful! And that power will flow down to your children and to your grandchildren.
3: Love your family first by finishing the course.
In a world of quitters, Jesus Christ is looking for finishers. It’s not how your family started that matters most; it’s where you all end up as a family and in eternity that really counts. Make no mistake, there are many eyes on you. People know what you profess and they are watching to see if you can keep the commitment you’ve made to your family. The world is filled with starters-up like a rocket and down like a rock-but God’s love in the heart of His children is what enables you to finish the course.
4: Love your family first by paying the price.
You need to know now that there is a price you will have to pay to have a God-honoring, successful family. Families that only stay together until hardship comes or conflict arises never experience the joy of all a family can be.
It’s one thing to talk about commitment in a vague, generalizing way. But truly living the Christian life is hardest at home. Some of you are going to face something this year as a family that will call for a massive price to be paid! Get ready. When you want to pull back–that’s the time to press in, push forward, and draw hard upon the Lord’s strength to live a life of absolute total commitment to your family.
So what do you think? Each week you are invited to visit 10Choices.org to engage in one of the ten choices with book excerpt and questions, and most importantly, comments from you
Living priorities is a daily, hourly, and moment by moment choice we all must make.
Have you ever failed as a parent?
Have you ever said or done something, either habitually, or on a one-time-only basis, that resulted in an irreversible parental mistake?
What could you have done differently to avoid that mistake?
How could you identify them before they happened?
Are you currently and habitually making mistakes right now in your parenting style and family culture?
What are the three top relationship killers, pitfalls, traps the best parents fall into, and how can we avoid them?
- Busyness– how did life get so complicated? Time, scheduling, stress, moods, attitude have created a busy and crazy lifestyle for most every parent in our culture. Burned-out parents seem to be the norm. Moods flare, words are exchanged, attitudes run rampant, and the whole thing seems way over the top on a regular basis. Where do we find relief in peace and tranquility and surrender in such a crazy society and culture? I believe some of the answers lie in the following:
- Learn to stop… work, projects, our minds, our thoughts, our busyness, and our lifestyle.
- Learn the transition to home… leave work at work. Leave anything outside the home… outside the home. Come home and be here now. Be present. Be in the moment. Be available. Be you.
- Learn to say no to many other things… even the good stuff. You cannot do it all… even though you may want to.
2. Distraction–Being self-centered and self obsessed– The sick habit of over-introspection and self-indulgence in an ongoing examination of self and how everything affects me. Being self-centered and self obsessed, could include an exhausting examination of everything that affects me in my life and the second-guessing of everything happening around me. Trying to figure out all of life is a fallacy and learning to surrender and let go and move on is the only sane and safe way to live. Breaking the self habit includes:
- Letting go–surrender, relaxing, moving on, and really focusing on trusting God for all your needs
- Make it about other people– always keep in mind you’re on earth to serve others. And don’t always make it about you. The universe does not rotate around you. It’s really not about you.
- Learn to communicate– learn to listen effectively. Really try to hear what people are telling you through their body language, tone and of course, their words. Learn to express yourself in cogent and concise ways as well.
- Focus on what’s really important– family, spouse, kids, friends, brothers and sisters, parents, community and society. At the end of the day it’s all about relationships. This requires being focused on others.
3. Value Confusion–not prioritizing our relationships–are you an object person or a relationship person? Do you devote too much project time and not enough relationship time with those around you? Failing to stop and decide who you are and who you want to be results in dissonance in living your value system. We must decide individually what’s important to us and live accordingly. It’s a mistake to not devote a great deal of our lives to relationships. After all, you can’t take anything with you when you go. You never see the U-Haul behind the hearse at the funeral. The mistake here is letting life drive you versus you driving life in your own priorities. You are in charge of you. You are accountable for you. The blame game will not work when you’re not living out your own values and priorities. It’s your own darn fault…some possible solutions include:
- having a written plan–goal setting, a personal life and vision statement in writing.
- Getting organized– managing your time, having a day planner, writing down and living your priorities.
- Getting rid of the extra and non-priority–just say no. You’ll never get to some stuff in life. There is not enough time, energy or resources.
- Setting up systems for relationship development– have dates with your kids, wife, and friends. Put them in your day timer. Schedule them up as the priorities they really are.
Living our priorities is a daily, hourly, and moment by moment choice we all must make each day. How we decide the small stuff defines us. What will we do with the resources given to us? Each of us gets just 24 hours each day, and only a certain number of days per lifetime. How well will you use your life units? That is certainly up to you.
What will it be for you?
Are you going to let stress and busyness, distraction and self-centeredness, and value confusion throw you off your plan?
Will you be proactive and take the time, and sharpen your saw, and figure out what’s key for you in life, and then go and just do it?
At the end of the day, it really may be about you, in that you must decide for you. How you live, love and relate to those around you in your life.
We have but one life to live, and logic and love dictate we live it effectively in relationships.
Ten Rules for Being Human
|1.||You will receive a body. You may like it or hate it, but it’s yours to keep for the entire period.|
|2.||You will learn lessons. You are enrolled in a full-time informal school called, “life.”|
|3.||There are no mistakes, only lessons. Growth is a process of trial, error, and experimentation. The “failed” experiments are as much a part of the process as the experiments that ultimately “work.”|
|4.||Lessons are repeated until they are learned. A lesson will be presented to you in various forms until you have learned it. When you have learned it, you can go on to the next lesson.|
|5.||Learning lessons does not end. There’s no part of life that doesn’t contain its lessons. If you’re alive, that means there are still lessons to be learned.|
|6.||“There” is no better a place than “here.” When your “there” has become a “here”, you will simply obtain another “there” that will again look better than “here.”|
|7.||Other people are merely mirrors of you. You cannot love or hate something about another person unless it reflects to you something you love or hate about yourself.|
|8.||What you make of your life is up to you. You have all the tools and resources you need. What you do with them is up to you. The choice is yours.|
|9.||Your answers lie within you. The answers to life’s questions lie within you. All you need to do is look, listen, and trust.|
|10.||You will forget all this.|
You asked for the list of how to fail from the book “How To Become a Total
Failure: The Ten Rules of Highly Unsuccessful People,” by Bill Guillory and
Phil Davis, 2008.
Here you go. I added one at the end so you get eleven.
1. Resist learning anything new.
2. Don’t share what you know with others.
3. Be a jerk. Knowledge is power. Don’t give away your power.
4. Always look out for number one.
5. It’s all about the money.
6. Promise things you have no intention of doing.
7. It’s always someone else’s fault.
8. Truth is in the eye of the beholder.
9. Do the least that’s necessary for success.
10. The customer is someone you must tolerate.
11. Spend time on things that don’t matter much.
Tips to better Family Time
Thanks to allprodad.com
Parents and their children are spending less time interacting with each other. As a result, many children are getting less personal love and attention than their parents did. American Demographics reported that parents today spend roughly 40 percent less time with their children than did parents a generation ago. To help families stay connected, below is a list of helpful family time tips. Keep in mind, quantity and quality time is important when choosing activities. So build memories around exciting events by keeping your family time creative and enjoyable. Print out the following tips as daily reminders.
|1 Eat together & listen to each otherMost children today don’t know the meaning of a family dinnertime. Yet the communication and unity built during this set-ting is integral to a healthy family life. Sharing a meal together allows the opportunity to talk about each other’s lives. This is a time for parents to listen, as well as to give advice and encouragement. Attentive listening conveys a message that a person is really interested in another. It also imparts a sense of worth and helps develop trust. Therefore, listening is a critical link in successful parenting.|
|2 Read oftenIt’s important for parents to read to their children. The latest research indicates that reading to your children cultivates an interest for knowledge and stimulates language development. It also increases their attention spans and helps them become more curious. Look for books that your child would enjoy reading. After reading, ask questions about the content.|
|3 Do chores togetherPart of what goes on in the home is the development of teamwork. Functional family life depends on the contribution of everyone. Assigning chores is the most productive way of teaching responsibility and accountability to your children. Doing chores with your child will help foster good communication skills.|
|4 Help with schoolworkA great way to spend quality time with children and light a fire of learning is to help children with their schoolwork. A parent’s eagerness to help will cause a child to become more interested in school thus improving his or her grades. Regular trips to the library for school projects are an inexpensive and enjoyable way to spend time with children. Helping should begin with an understanding that children are responsible for homework. Parents are there to help their child get organized and to encourage them when they get stuck.|
|5 Start a hobby or project Choose a fun activity that your child is interested in. Activities like cooking, crafts, fishing or biking will make great hobbies that can open the door to exciting family time. Once a child learns a new recipe or is able to cast a lure accurately, let him or her take the lead with your supervision.|
|6 Play games
New technology has made video games more prevalent. As a result, many children are spending long hours in front of the TV playing computer programs. Parents should find creative ways to spark an interest in family-oriented contests such as board games or card games. This will give parents additional time to talk and nurture their relationship.
|7 Plan a family outing
Sometimes getting out of the house is important. Hop in the family car and go for a drive. Prepare a picnic lunch and visit a local park. Take time to play catch or ride a bike. A stroll in the woods will help parents interact with their children. Also, a visit to the zoo or museum will spark a child’s enthusiasm and lead to lengthy discussions.
|8 Encourage athletic activities
It is vital for children to exercise. Sports not only strengthen the body, but also build character and determination. Whether it’s a father pitching a baseball to a son or a mother and daughter nature walking, finding time for athletic events is important for a child’s emotional and physical development. This is a great opportunity for a family to interact.
|9 Create a Family Time calendar
Since many parents have hectic schedules, time with children often becomes a low priority whether intended or not. Post a calendar on the refrigerator and have parents and children pencil in special events. Knowing when you’re going to meet may also help you think of creative activities. Commit to keeping this schedule free from interruptions.
10 Pray together & attend a house of worship
Nothing is more special than taking a few minutes each day to pray with a child before bedtime. By explaining the purpose behind prayer, children will learn the importance of faith as the foundation for the family. Also, when parents go to religious services, they instill in their children a reverence for God. Churches can also offer invaluable support to families.
Thanks to allprodad.com