Saturday, August 10, 2013
My dear mother who is seventy-seven years old this year has been teaching first and second grade Sunday school for thirty years at the same church. I, too, teach Sunday school to elementary aged children. She often comments to me about the Sunday school curriculum and has concerns over the use of the Bible and scripture reading by the children. We make a point of opening the word of God and reading it word for word from the scriptures instead of just using the handouts provided. We also make sure that the kids that can read participate in reading the word out loud. She has expressed to me on so many occasions and I know it and believe with all my heart that the Sunday school stories alone, without the word of God, are not enough to give to the children.
The word of God is the only thing that will change hearts and minds. One of the most powerful scriptures that express the greatness of God’s word and its great impact on our lives is Hebrews 4:12. “For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart.” (NAS) Another great scripture concerning the word of God is John 17:17. “Sanctify them in the truth; Your word is truth.” (NAS) This was part of the prayer that Jesus prayed for his disciples before he died on the cross, not only was it for his disciples then but for us now. The truth of God’s word will set our hearts free from the worries and stresses of the world. “…and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.” John 8:32 (NAS)
There is nothing more grounding, more life giving, more strengthening than the living word of God. He spoke the world into being – just through His words. His written word has the power to move mountains and strengthen hearts. When you teach the word of God to the little children you are giving them power over the darkness of this world. You are giving them the living word of our precious Father and His Son Jesus Christ. There is not a greater gift that you can give to a child or anyone for that matter. Sunday school may be the only access that some children have to the Bible and having the privilege of reading it and memorizing it.
Memorizing scripture is so very important for any age believer but it is so very important to get the scriptures engrained into the minds and hearts of the little ones so that they will have it for their whole lives. The word says, “Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.” Matthew 19:14 (NIV) The word of God after implanted in their minds will come to them when their lives come to a cross road and they need to choose between God’s way or the world’s way. Or perhaps when they need encouragement, even in grade school and up through the school years children go through so many changes and situations arise where the word of God will remind them that He is with them and they need not be afraid.
My own mother taught both of my children Psalms 27 when they were just starting to talk. They both had half of it memorized by the time they were three or four and what a powerful Psalms it is. I cannot even tell you how many times this has helped both of my children through some hard times. Even when they are not consciously thinking about the Lord or His word He still reminds them because these scriptures are forever in their hearts and minds from an early age. Here is Psalm 27 from the New International Version Bible.
1 The Lord is my light and my salvation—
whom shall I fear?
The Lord is the stronghold of my life—
of whom shall I be afraid?
2 When the wicked advance against me
to devour me,
it is my enemies and my foes
who will stumble and fall.
3 Though an army besiege me,
my heart will not fear;
though war break out against me,
even then I will be confident.
4 One thing I ask from the Lord,
this only do I seek:
that I may dwell in the house of the Lord
all the days of my life,
to gaze on the beauty of the Lord
and to seek him in his temple.
5 For in the day of trouble
he will keep me safe in his dwelling;
he will hide me in the shelter of his sacred tent
and set me high upon a rock.
6 Then my head will be exalted
above the enemies who surround me;
at his sacred tent I will sacrifice with shouts of joy;
I will sing and make music to the Lord.
7 Hear my voice when I call, Lord;
be merciful to me and answer me.
8 My heart says of you, “Seek his face!”
Your face, Lord, I will seek.
9 Do not hide your face from me,
do not turn your servant away in anger;
you have been my helper.
Do not reject me or forsake me,
God my Savior.
10 Though my father and mother forsake me,
the Lord will receive me.
11 Teach me your way, Lord;
lead me in a straight path
because of my oppressors.
12 Do not turn me over to the desire of my foes,
for false witnesses rise up against me,
spouting malicious accusations.
13 I remain confident of this:
I will see the goodness of the Lord
in the land of the living.
14 Wait for the Lord;
be strong and take heart
and wait for the Lord.
There are so many more scriptures that my mom and I have taught to my children over the years and I can promise you that the results are always victorious in God’s word. My daughter has pushed herself beyond her introversion to do so many things for the glory of God, in her studies, in her career, and in her personal life. My son was drawn in by the world in his teens and has made some very bad decisions and yet the Lord has been dealing with him through His word and reminding my son of His great love for Him by the scriptures that were burned into his heart. God’s word never fails. Isaiah 55:10-11 from the New International Version of the Bible says:
10 As the rain and the snow
come down from heaven,
and do not return to it
without watering the earth
and making it bud and flourish,
so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater,
11 so is my word that goes out from my mouth:
It will not return to me empty,
but will accomplish what I desire
and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.
As you read these verses you can see how powerful the word of God is and how very important it is and what a life giving gift you are giving the children that you are teaching in Sunday school or when teaching them to your own precious children. There is no better gift, nothing more powerful that you can give a child to hold onto than the living, breathing, active word of our wonderful Lord and Savior. Listen to what John 1:1-5 says about our marvelous God and His Son Jesus Christ.
1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was with God in the beginning. 3 Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. 4 In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. 5 The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.
God came down and became flesh to save us because He knew that on our own we could not keep His commandments. It is only by His great grace and His death on the cross and shedding of His blood that we are able to be saved. He gave us His word in written form to reveal to us His saving grace, to encourage us, and to sustain us in this world because He knew it would not be easy. There is no greater gift that you can give another individual than His word and when you give it to a child you are giving them life in abundance and salvation for their very souls.
Stephanie has many years of experience as a nanny. She has always loved children and has continuously been involved in childcare activities. Currently she is one of the writers for houstonnanny.com. If you want to get in touch with her, you can email her at stephanie. Houstonnanny @ gmail. com.
There are three types of people in this world: those who make things happen, those who watch things happen and those who wonder what happened.
What will they say at your memorial? What would you want them to say?
THAT will be your legacy and it will be too late to start working on your life of significance at your memorial. You can begin TODAY to work toward a “Business and life legacy” and really make a positive difference!
How do you leave a legacy of positive business leadership? Who doesn’t want to leave a positive legacy? Leadership and legacy means being PROACTIVE…Take the lead and be the instigator!
Think about your personal leadership… See life as a chance to identify your purpose, position, passion, and posture and then
I worked for Ron Pileggi for 20 years at the local Tri City Weekly and he exemplified a business leader who left an awesome business and life legacy. Ron always made life about RELATIONSHIPS. He modeled how to really care about and serve others with his staff, customers, community and in his industry.
Staff- Ron modeled “servant-leadership” in that he really helped his staff wherever possible. He showed a boss who was involved on a personal level and really loved his staff by showing it in his actions.
Customers—Ron went the extra mile to really serve and meet needs of his customers. He even would give it away if it meant helping a fellow businessperson get back on their marketing feet.
Community-Ron was an example of a guy trying to make a positive difference in our community. Whether it was serving in Rotary, helping various non-profits, or just showing up at events, Ron was present and a servant of all.
Industry—As an industry pioneer and leader, Ron shared expertise in the Free Paper Industry of America freely. Not only was his publication multiple award winning over years, he gladly shared his trade success secrets with fellow entrepreneurs.
Ron left an amazing legacy across the board—Staff, Customers, Community and Industry. He intentionally modeled ‘servant-leadership” in the roles he served.
Here are 5 Easy “Knows” to a Great Life and Business Legacy:
1. Know Legacy–Understand and Know what a Legacy is–Begin to study what a legacy is and how we are all leaving behind something” in our lives we will be remembered for. Study the lives of those who you know have made a positive difference in their world.
2. Know Thyself–Begin to look at your life and what you are leaving behind and what you are now known for. What is it that people remember about you and your life? Be honest! Ask safe people who will give it to you straight and without apology. It is about what others know about you vs. how you perceive yourself. You may be really surprised …
3. Know Thy Legacy–Pick and focus on one aspect of your life that yields positive results and influences others in a significant way–Find your message, media, and platform and go to work leaving behind something meaningful to others. Live your life of significance with intention.
4. Know Thy Audience–Who listens when you talk? Who picks up when you “throw down”? Who are your peeps and those who love you? These are the ones ripe for receiving your legacy message.
5. Know Thy Media–Begin to find and understand your most comfortable platform and medium for delivering your legacy message. This can be written, spoken, crafted, or lived out loud in some way. Most folks begin with some writing or speaking—the written and spoken word has tons of possibility when leaving your life of significance. Blogging, public speaking, or writing your book all have potential for great legacy tools. All legacy begins with being a good communicator—be one!
It is time for us to get busy and become more intentional about leaving behind a life of business legacy and living with and on purpose. Each of us has a limited number of days on Earth (Grandpa Tom says, “No one gets out of here alive!”) and we need to be purposeful in how we live. Know legacy, yourself, your own legacy, your platform and your audience and you will begin to make a positive difference and leave an awesome legacy!
Life and business will have more meaning and so will you! Start living your legacy today—we’ll be glad you did.
REGRETS OF THE DYING
People grow a lot when they are faced with their own mortality. I learnt never to underestimate someone’s capacity for growth. Some changes were phenomenal. Each experienced a variety of emotions, as expected, denial, fear, anger, remorse, more denial and eventually acceptance. Every single patient found their peace before they departed though, every one of them.
When questioned about any regrets they had or anything they would do differently, common themes surfaced again and again. Here are the most common five:
1. I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.
This was the most common regret of all. When people realise that their life is almost over and look back clearly on it, it is easy to see how many dreams have gone unfulfilled. Most people had not honoured even a half of their dreams and had to die knowing that it was due to choices they had made, or not made.
It is very important to try and honour at least some of your dreams along the way. From the moment that you lose your health, it is too late. Health brings a freedom very few realise, until they no longer have it.
2. I wish I didn’t work so hard.
This came from every male patient that I nursed. They missed their children’s youth and their partner’s companionship. Women also spoke of this regret. But as most were from an older generation, many of the female patients had not been breadwinners. All of the men I nursed deeply regretted spending so much of their lives on the treadmill of a work existence.
By simplifying your lifestyle and making conscious choices along the way, it is possible to not need the income that you think you do. And by creating more space in your life, you become happier and more open to new opportunities, ones more suited to your new lifestyle.
3. I wish I’d had the courage to express my feelings.
Many people suppressed their feelings in order to keep peace with others. As a result, they settled for a mediocre existence and never became who they were truly capable of becoming. Many developed illnesses relating to the bitterness and resentment they carried as a result.
We cannot control the reactions of others. However, although people may initially react when you change the way you are by speaking honestly, in the end it raises the relationship to a whole new and healthier level. Either that or it releases the unhealthy relationship from your life. Either way, you win.
4. I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends.
Often they would not truly realise the full benefits of old friends until their dying weeks and it was not always possible to track them down. Many had become so caught up in their own lives that they had let golden friendships slip by over the years. There were many deep regrets about not giving friendships the time and effort that they deserved. Everyone misses their friends when they are dying.
It is common for anyone in a busy lifestyle to let friendships slip. But when you are faced with your approaching death, the physical details of life fall away. People do want to get their financial affairs in order if possible. But it is not money or status that holds the true importance for them. They want to get things in order more for the benefit of those they love. Usually though, they are too ill and weary to ever manage this task. It is all comes down to love and relationships in the end. That is all that remains in the final weeks, love and relationships.
5. I wish that I had let myself be happier.
This is a surprisingly common one. Many did not realise until the end that happiness is a choice. They had stayed stuck in old patterns and habits. The so-called ‘comfort’ of familiarity overflowed into their emotions, as well as their physical lives. Fear of change had them pretending to others, and to their selves, that they were content. When deep within, they longed to laugh properly and have silliness in their life again.
When you are on your deathbed, what others think of you is a long way from your mind. How wonderful to be able to let go and smile again, long before you are dying.
Life is a choice. It is YOUR life. Choose consciously, choose wisely, choose honestly. Choose happiness.
10 Tips For Quality Family Life
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 other. Most children today don’t know the meaning of a family dinnertime. Yet the communication and unity built during this setting 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 often. It’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 together. Part 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 schoolwork. A 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.
Your Strengths, Your Passions, & Your Money Making Opportunities
Where these three areas overlap is where you’ll find your best success opportunities. Envision these three areas as concentric circles overlapping. You will find it is the overlap area that has compelling possibility. You can leverage this discovery to create optimal motivation, success, and possibility…
Some people struggle with right position related to what they desire to accomplish from a personal point of view. Sometimes, people are still trying to figure out what they want to be when they grow up… therefore, you might consider developing a personal vision statement in narrative form describing the issues that are a high priority in your life.
Developing a personal vision statement is a great way to begin clarifying what is important to you. When you know about what is important to you it’s easier to prioritize daily activities.
Everyone’s personal vision statement should be unique. This is not an exact science. Develop a draft statement quickly. Then read a statement and see if it sounds good to you. If it does, consider it a good first draft. Keep improving your vision statement, over time. Approach this task as if you’re making soup. Have fun and enjoy the benefits of a clear life vision.
Be a Leader/ “Legacy Leaver”
Leadership means many things to many people. I think it means being proactive, being the first, and:
- Taking the initiative
- Setting the standard
- Managing effectively
- Planning often and well
- Resourcing whenever possible
- Identifying the vision, goals, and priorities
- Setting the example, always
A good leader takes responsibility and says; “The buck stops here!” when something is not right.
Leaders show the way and model through active example what they’re trying to express and accomplish.
They press on and press in, and they run counter to the culture of convenience and quick fixes. They refuse to get sidetracked by the “bright and shiny objects”, the diversions, and side-eddies of our culture.
They strain and strive with intentionality and energy to build relationships and create a legacy, a heritage, and a family. They do much of this by simply taking the initiative, being intentional, and by writing and accomplishing compelling goals that are relationship-based.
Parents, you are the key; you are the leader. You must be intimately in touch with your mission, goals, and objectives as a parent. This requires discipline, selflessness, living your priorities, and time management. You must leverage the hours of your day and be intentional in everything you do. Time is the only resource you’re guaranteed to have.
The key here is to write down what you want… dream it, plan it, and do it.
The questions are…
- Who are you?
- What do you want?
- Why are you here?
- What is not working, that you would like to see work?
- What is happening now, that should vanish?
The answer to these questions will determine your “brand” as a parent and as a leader. What “brand” are you now? What “brand” do you want to be?
Here are some thoughts on leaving a legacy and heritage:
What will they say when you’re gone?
A good parent transfers the following attributes and character qualities to her/his children…
- Love for God (as you understand Him)
- Love for people
- Ethics/ knowledge
- Wisdom and understanding
- Love and compassion and kindness
- Positive attitude and motivation
Great parenting requires us as parents to raise children in the way they would be best served.
They are individuals, not part of a cookie-cutter machine. Therefore, we need to work with our kids on their level, meeting their needs, resourcing, respecting, and fostering the individuality of each child. We must study to know them and then resource their gifts, attributes, and skills. No two children are alike. This all requires patience on our part to work on their level, one or two things at a time. Slowly, with a patient parents heart.
Who is leading your family?
- What will your best friends say at your funeral?
- What is a life well lived?
- What is greatness? Family Legacy?
Walk Your Talk with Your Kids—Living with Spiritual Authenticity
Train a child in the way they should go….“Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it”– Proverbs 22:6, King Solomon of Israel.
This is a great concept, promise, principle, and protocol for fathers. “Training up” has the idea of a parent graciously investing in a child whatever wisdom, love, nurturing, and discipline is needed for him to become fully committed to God. It presupposes parental emotional and spiritual maturity.
“In the way that he should go” is to do the training according to the unique personality, gifts, and aspirations of the child. The idea here is to, equip, resource, and be a catalyst for your child’s gifts, skills, and natural abilities. We must study our kids and know just what their strengths and weaknesses are.
The converse is to help the child avoid whatever natural tendencies she might have that would prevent total commitment to God. For example: a weak will, a lack of discipline, a susceptibility to depression, etc… Knowing where our kids are prone to weakness will help us to help them avoid the pitfalls of poor decision-making, lack of character, immaturity and more. This is as important as knowing their strengths and gifts and facilitating those.
The promise is that proper development with great parenting ensures the child will stay committed to God and love people… the two basics of the 10 Commandments. May we stay focused, diligent and intentional in this key role!
Tools of Effective Legacy: Grace. How Do We Use Our Authority?
When I talk about fathering, I think of how God the Father deals with me. And then I realize His kindness, patience, and love and see how short I fall as I deal with others.
God doesn’t always use a stick to beat us when we make mistakes, so why are we as fathers so quick to apply the stick of punishment to those around us, especially our kids? It’s okay to be angry, and it’s okay to not like injustice, disobedience, immaturity, and some of the zany things kids do in their selfishness.
But what gives you and me the right when we are tired and frustrated to dole out law in the spirit of anger? Our Lord never modeled that type of authoritarianism. He did everything in love, including correction, chastisement, teaching, and encouragement.
You and I as men need to re-learn authority. We need to not get caught up in the disciplinarian model and playing the heavy, which is so common in our society. We need to learn the authority of Jesus, based in love, patience, kindness, gentleness, goodness, and self-control.
We need to re-learn the father heart of God, and how that applies to our leadership and authority over those for whom we have responsibility. We must be intentional and incremental in learning this model, as it will transform our parenting, and indeed, our lives. So, the next time you’re faced with someone’s shortcomings, or your own, for that matter, what’s going to be different?
Will it be grace or law? Which have you been given more of?
Grace versus law- means that we translate His heart to those around us in how we use our words, authority and actions. How can we successfully use godly authority in a way that shows His heart and love and kindness?
How do you personally dole out correction and discipline? Do the following mark your approach?
• Cussing and swearing
• Yelling and raising your voice
• Withholding your favor in some way
• Silent treatment
• Launching out in anger
• Physical violence
• Verbal violence
How do these mirror the Father Heart of God (see Appendix B.), and how he’s treated you? Does God do any of the above as He has occasion to correct and admonish you? In your walk with God, has He ever treated you with anything but kindness, love in the heart of a father? The answer is God corrects and chastens us in great love and patience and kindness. His encouraging and teaching Spirit reminds me that the kindness of God leads me to repentance… every time.
We get caught up in stress and with our authority; we often default to become the great disciplinarians. We get hard, mean, and even cruel—often with those we love the most.
This is wrong, and an incorrect application of authority. We do need to have courageous conversations, and even dole out consequences as needed, but if our default is dictatorial we’ve missed the mark in the Jesus example.
The authority that Jesus wielded can be learned, applied and given freely, but we need to be intentional…. How will you discipline, correct, and encourage someone who is under your authority the next time? Will you default to a baser form of handling authority, or will you be intentional and model the kindness and encouragement of Jesus Christ? Next time, what will be different?
Simple Man, original artist is Lynrd Skynrd. Written by lead singer Ronnie Van Zant and guitarist Gary Rossington.
Seemed like a Great Song for a Fathering Web Site……..
Mama told me when I was young
Come sit beside me, my only son
And listen closely to what I say.
And if you do this
It will help you some sunny day.
Take your time… dont live too fast,
Troubles will come and they will pass.
Go find a woman and youll find love,
And dont forget son,
There is someone up above.
And be a simple kind of man.
Be something you love and understand.
Be a simple kind of man.
Wont you do this for me son,
If you can?
Forget your lust for the rich mans gold
All that you need is in your soul,
And you can do this if you try.
All that I want for you my son,
Is to be satisfied.
Boy, dont you worry… you’ll find yourself.
Follow you heart and nothing else.
And you can do this if you try.
All I want for you my son,
Is to be satisfied.