SPIRITUAL TRAINING: Teaching your kids to pray

“. . .and God bless Hop-along Cassidy and Topper.” Hop-along Cassidy was an old black and white TV cowboy; Topper was his horse. I was three and my parents were embarrassed. You see, they had invited our pastor to eat dinner with us, and I wanted to say the blessing over the food. Of course, that prayer has become my connection with that pastor even into my adult years. He has never forgotten; years later he chuckled the story to my college friends, much to my lighthearted embarassment. But neither have I forgotten that episode; my parents had encouraged me to pray when I was very young. (more…)

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SPIRIT TRAINING: Getting God’s Word into your kids

Patricia and I had this outrageous idea to teach our two oldest kids the scriptures by saying them together at each meal. The idea was to build the scripture into our routine, just a part of what we do. At the time, Patrick was almost three and Anna was four. We started with the 23rd Psalm. . .THE WHOLE THING! We were so disappointed after several weeks of saying it together at each meal, and yet they still looked at us like two owlets, not even an attempt to say it with us. We discussed throwing out the whole idea when the Lord let us in on a little secret. (more…)

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A Safety Net

“Peanuts, Candy, Popcorn! Get it before the Big Show starts!” Painted elephants, crazy clowns, roaring lions– the responsible ringmaster was hosting the show with charm and dignity. Sitting with my brothers and sisters in the Cow Palace in San Francisco, our eyes absorbed the delight before us.

Remember the trapeze artists high up in the air performing stunts, twirls, walking so courageously on the tight rope? While we would watch, breathless for their safety, we hardly noticed there was a net spread out in case of a fall. (more…)

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BEING CONSISTENT

William, our third child now 20, had a baby blanket. As he grew, he carried the blanket everywhere, sleeping with it, traveling with it, always needing this blanket. Deriving a measure of security from this blanket, he would gently rub its corner against his face; he was never without it until only that small corner was all that was left. Of all of our children, change was hardest for him. Weaning him from the blanket took longer than weaning from his mother’s milk.

Many times, as our kids were growing, we stopped and looked at one another and said, “What’s wrong? Things are not as good as they were. The kids are not obeying as well, our lives are out of sync.” Then we would take inventory. Often we would find that it was not the kids that had changed, but we had changed. We had not stayed the course; we had not taken the time; we had not allowed ourselves to be incovenienced. We had not been consistent.

As long as we blamed the kids, “The kids do this, the kids do that,” we made no progress. (more…)

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MOM AND DAD: ONE VOICE

Father thinks it; the Son says it; the Spirit brings it to pass. Oneness, unity in the Godhead. We can be confident that God is not going to change the rules on us. He will not contradict himself. He is not impulsive. Jesus showed us exactly what the Father is like; he is the exact representation of the Father’s nature. “I and the Father are one.”

A man shall leave his father and his mother and cling to his wife and the two shall become one flesh. Malachi 2 asks this question: “Why one?” The answer: “To raise up godly offspring.” The oneness of mom and dad are a reflection of the Oneness in Father, Son, and Spirit. It is derived from heaven. The more “one” we are, the more our home will be “heavenly.”

Whatever you call it, this having one voice, being on the same page, sharing the same values and goals and actions. . .This is the most powerful weapon in the parents’ arsenal against Satan’s attempts to hijack our kids. (more…)

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