Vlog ~ An Object Lesson & Prayer For Our Children

Ezekial 11:19 & 20 says:

“I will give them an undivided heart and put a new spirit in them; I will remove from them their heart of stone and give them a heart of flesh. Then they will follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws. They will be my people, and I will be their God.”

I made this video this past summer but never posted it…but it goes with the Gentleness Challenge. Often times our frustrations with our children come because we are tired, exhausted and irritable…but sometimes it is because they have hard hearts and they need a mama who is willing to get on her knees and plead in her child’s behalf before the throne of God.  Ezekial 11:19,20 is my prayer.

 (If you can’t see this video click here.)

Let’s pray that God gives our children undivided hearts.  That they would be born again with God’s Spirit within them and that their hearts would not be hardened by sin but soft and tender.  Pray that they would be careful to keep God’s laws and follow hard after Jesus!

Walk with the King,

Courtney

 

Teaching Our Children How To Be Gentle

 

Since the day my son came out of the womb – he was a rough and tumble little guy. It’s the way God wired him! As a toddler, he rarely cried when he fell or bumped his head and as a school boy he is very high energy. It’s hard to keep him from running, jumping, climbing and diving in the house! lol! He loves contact sports and has played flag football with the public school kids for the last 4 years. This year flag football was a lot like (full contact -minus- the pads) +plus+ some flags! I did a lot of wincing and turning my head – it was hard to watch! He also takes Karate and gets to do a little sparring while learning discipline, respect and tenacity. And then there’s basketball. He is currently playing in the public school league and this is his sport. He loves the non-stop running and to be honest – it seems to be quite a full contact sport at his age also! The kids are still learning the fundamentals of a foul! lol!

I love that my son can use his energy appropriately through sports, but at home this has posed a bit of a challenge. Sometimes he gets his coat out of the closet like he’s going after a football – he throws an elbow at his sister, whips his coat out and dashes out the door leaving her knocked on the floor wondering what just hit her.

This is where manners come into play. Clearly, there’s a long list of manners that are missed in this very simple – and sadly common – coat scenario. First, ladies before gentlemen would solve the entire problem – right? Secondly, words like – “excuse me”, “I am sorry”, “are you okay” “let me help you up” or “you can go first” would also help.

I have taught my children manners many times. Some weeks I’ve been a heavy enforcer and then with the hustle and bustle of life, the manners slide without me noticing. So I ordered this hand book titled: Proper Manners and Health Habits, to begin in the new year and I was so surprised when I opened the book and saw the title to Chapter 1!

Chapter 1 is titled “Gentle Words” and oh boy was I excited to tell the kids that they would be joining me for the January WLW “Gentleness Challenge” – this is a family venture!!!  Like us – children need to learn to use “Gentle Words”.  So what words are considered “gentle words?”

And there you have it.  Lesson 1 for teaching our children to be gentle!  These are the words of the month in our house and I’ve been clapping each time they use them…so yesterday Alexis said “thank you” and I kept on doing what I was doing.  She called me out on it – “mooooooooooom, I just said thank you.”  I said, “your welcome.”  Then she repeated – “no mom, I just said thank you.”  I repeated, “your welcome Alexis” a bit confused…she said – “aren’t you going to clap mom?” lol!  Children love praise which goes with yesterdays post (and by the way – clapping is SO much easier than a sticker/rewards chart and extremely effective – try it – clap and hoot and holler for your kids when they do good – they will light up – they will stand taller!).  Let’s teach our children to be gentle through using good manners and remember to praise them 10 times more than we correct them!

Walk with the King,

I Stumble A Lot!

We are now up to chapter 3 in our James Video Series!  This chapter is a HARD one for me. It really points out so many flaws that I have. I am a woman of many words  lol! and Proverbs 10:19 says “When words are many, sin is not absent. But he who holds his tongue is wise.”
James 3 says that NO man can tame the tongue. It is filled with deadly poison.
I long to be a woman who is filled with life giving words. Who is filled with grace and mercy. But the reality is – I stumble in many ways (3:2). And when I stumble, it brings pain to others and to my own soul. I long to be free of this problem in my life – to be so full of wisdom and self-control that I never ever stumble again!
But let me be honest, I stumble!  I stumble all the time in my marriage, in my parenting, and sadly with my friendships!  Just this week, I had to email a friend and apologize for critical words I spoke.  SO embarrassing! I urge you to be very careful with your words in friendships. Pray before you send emails or post on facebook.  Pray God would show you if anything you type could hurt another. Filter your words with love and grace. Be forgiving when someone else acts immaturely. Pursue unity.
I made a video last summer about this very passage of James and included my children. Let’s teach our children while they are young the power of words. It will save them a lot of heartache and produce a generation of children who are world changers for Jesus!

James 3:1-12 ESV – Taming the Tongue
3:1 Not many of you should become teachers, my brothers, for you know that we who teach will be judged with greater strictness. 2 For we all stumble in many ways. And if anyone does not stumble in what he says, he is a perfect man, able also to bridle his whole body. 3 If we put bits into the mouths of horses so that they obey us, we guide their whole bodies as well. 4 Look at the ships also: though they are so large and are driven by strong winds, they are guided by a very small rudder wherever the will of the pilot directs. 5 So also the tongue is a small member, yet it boasts of great things.

 
How great a forest is set ablaze by such a small fire! 6 And the tongue is a fire, a world of unrighteousness. The tongue is set among our members, staining the whole body, setting on fire the entire course of life, and set on fire by hell. 7 For every kind of beast and bird, of reptile and sea creature, can be tamed and has been tamed by mankind, 8 but no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison. 9 With it we bless our Lord and Father, and with it we curse people who are made in the likeness of God. 10 From the same mouth come blessing and cursing. My brothers, these things ought not to be so. 11 Does a spring pour forth from the same opening both fresh and salt water? 12 Can a fig tree, my brothers, bear olives, or a grapevine produce figs? Neither can a salt pond yield fresh water.

We will never master perfect control of our tongue.  Forever we will need to daily align our heart with God’s word, filtering our thoughts and words through the strainer of God’s word and repenting when the words we speak hurt others.  The next time someone hurts you with their words – remember grace…because you at any minute are about to slip up too!  As a matter of fact, often it’s right after someone else’s slip up that I slip up 10 times worse (for example in marriage – my husband says one word critical – and whamo – out comes 2 critical words from me.  Often what I say  is far worse than the first offense.) 

I like to journal my confessions…it reminds me how much I need Jesus.  The cross says I am flawed but it also says I am forgiven. 

Walk with the King!

This post is linked to Titus 2sdays, A Holy Experience, We Are That Family, and Raising Homemakers.

A Fun Easter Activity About Jesus

From the archives:
I love Easter! Easter has always been a BIG holiday for my family – we do it up like Christmas with a big dinner and huge overflowing baskets! This is the day our Savior rose from the dead – this is HUGE!!!!! One of my favorite activities to do with the children leading up to Easter are these Resurrection Eggs – which can be purchased at your local Christian bookstore, amazon.com and last year I saw them at Walmart!

The store bought Resurrection Eggs come with a booklet and a story for each egg BUT these can also be homemade! A few years ago some women in our church homemade sets of these eggs and gave them out to all the children in Sunday School. Wasn’t that lovely of them!!! You could do this too! Here’s what you need.
Supplies:
1 dozen plastic Easter eggs
an egg carton
the items listed below

Directions: Fill each egg with the item listed (or a picture of the item) and a print-out of the corresponding scripture(number the eggs). Place the eggs in the decorated egg carton. Open and experience the eggs together with your children.

1. (Bread – crouton) Matthew 26:26 While they were eating Jesus took a piece of bread, gave a prayer of thanks, broke it, and gave it to His disciples. “Take and eat it,” He said, “This is My body.”

2. (Coins) Matthew 26: 14-15 Then one of the twelve disciples, named Judas Iscariot, went to the chief priests and asked, “What will you give me if I betray Jesus to you?” They counted out thirty silver coins and gave them to him.

3. (Purple cloth, representing a purple robe) Mark 15:17 They put a purple robe on Jesus. . .
4. (Thorns or toothpick) Matthew 27:29 Then they made a crown out of thorny branches and placed it on His head, and put a stick on His right hand; then they knelt before Him and made fun of Him. “Long live the King, of the Jews!” they said.

5. (Scourge-a small piece of rope or thick string) Mark 15:15 Pilate wanted to please the crowd, so he set Barabbas free for them. Then he had Jesus whipped and handed Him over to be crucified.

6. (Cross) John 19: 17-18a He went out, carrying His cross, and came to “The Place of the Skull,” as it is called. (In Hebrew it is called “Galgotha.”) There they crucified Him.

7. (Nails) John 20:25b Thomas said to them, “Unless I see the scars of the nails in His hands and put my finger on those scars and my hand in His side, I will not believe.”

8. (Sign) Luke 23:38 Above Him were written these words: THIS IS THE KING OF THE JEWS.

9. (Sponge) Matthew 27:48 One of them ran up at once, took a sponge. He filled it with vinegar, put it on a stick, and offered it to Jesus to drink.

10. (Spear) John 19:34 One of the soldiers plunged his spear into Jesus’ side, and at once blood and water poured out.
11. (Rock) Matthew 27:59-60 Joseph took the body, wrapped it in a new linen sheet, and placed it in his own new tomb, which he had just recently dug out of solid rock. Then he rolled a large stone across the entrance to the tomb and went away.
12. (Empty) Matthew 28:6 He is not here He has risen just as He said.
My favorite part of these eggs is watching the kids as they listen and take it into their hearts. This is a great tool for sharing the gospel with unsaved children or for leading your own child to the Lord. Do you have a fun Easter tradition? Feel free to share it in the comments section!
Walk with the King!

This is linked to Impress Your Kids.

My Favorite Easter Breakfast – Resurrection Rolls

This is what we have for breakfast every Easter morning.
These are so fun because when the rolls are done baking – they are empty inside – JUST like Jesus’ tomb!

You need just 5 ingredients: crescent rolls, marshmallows, sugar, cinnamon and butter

Give each child one triangle shaped section of crescent roll. This represents the tomb.

Each child takes one marshmallow which represents the body of Christ.

Dip the marshmallow in the butter and roll in cinnamon and sugar mixture. This represents the oils and spices the body was anointed with upon burial.

Lay the marshmallow on the dough and carefully wrap it around the marshmallow.

Make sure all seams are pinched together well. (Otherwise the marshmallow will “ooze” out of the seams) Bake according to package directions.

Cool.

Break open the tomb and the body of Christ is no longer there!!

Celebrate God’s love!

Walk with the King!

I am participating in Tempt Your Tummy Tuesday, A Southern Fairy Tale, Amys Finer Things and Balancing Beauty and Bedlam recipe exchanges. I am also linked up to Raising Homemakers Weds. link up and Works For Me Wednesday! For more blogger recipes go to these links.
The Girl Creative
Tip Junkie handmade projects

My Mom – My Role Model

(Tomorrow is my mom’s birthday – Happy Birthday Mom – I Love You! This is a repost.)

Psalm 145:4,5 “One generation will commend your works to another; they will tell of your mighty acts. They will speak of the glorious splendor of your majesty, and I will meditate on your wonderful works.
My mom does not like the spotlight, so I know this blog post will make her uncomfortable. She and I are similar in our love and passion for God’s word but we are very different in personality. I’ve always been a sanguine and she has always been a little more reserved. But I want to honor her. I know you all probably wonder who is the woman behind this woman who blogs. So if you are looking for a role model in parenting – here’s my mom in a nutshell to me!

The best thing my mom ever did for me was equip me for life by teaching me to fall in love with God and his word. Through her example and love of scriptures – I too fell in love with her Savior. She taught me how to read the word and apply it and how to always go to the scriptures first for answers in times of trouble. She taught me how to share my faith and not be ashamed. She taught me how to go against the flow in a public school and be secure in my faith.

Mom always had her colored pencils on the kitchen table where she worked hard preparing to lead her precept Bible studies. If we had a problem – mom had the solution with a verse attached and if mom said she was praying – we knew – something was going to happen – because mom’s prayers were powerful!

One of my favorite memories growing up were after school snack time – not just for the snack – but the time mom spent listening to all my boring stories! Mom listened and listened and listened as my two older sisters and I told many many stories. We are a chatty bunch! But I always knew I could talk to my mom about ANYTHING!

Mom introduced me to one of my all time favorite authors – Elizabeth Elliot through the book “Through Gates of Splendor.” It changed my view on life for forever. It gave me a passion to live for God and a hunger to live life to its fullest for God’s glory and it planted the seed in my heart to go to Bible college.

Mom MADE me practice piano for 8 years even when I hated it lol! and now I’m so glad I have that skill!!! She taught us girls to never quit and to always do everything to the best of our abilities. Thanks mom!

Mom is so generous – and I know she would not be pleased if I gave details on her giving – but mom and dad were always supporting many ministries or sharing with others in need. She is a gift giver and loves to give in abundance. She taught me both in words and deed that everything she has came from God and belongs to God. And that we must be good stewards – she is a great deal finder!

Mom is a woman of conviction. I am thankful that she sees things as black and white and did not let us girls settle for lukewarmness in our lives. She pushed us to righteousness and to high standards. She had strict television and movie rules and I am so thankful now for how she protected my mind.

Mom protected my purity by not letting Keith and I stay out too late when we were dating and she always allowed us to hang at the house where she could keep an eye on us! She and dad also led Keith and I in a marriage Bible study to prepare us for having a Biblical marriage.

Mom taught me how to submit to authority. Although she raised me to be a strong girl with strong convictions – she taught me how to submit my will to authority. It has been a great benefit in my life – to know how to submit to my teachers, coaches, pastors and now husband.

And finally – mom (and dad!) gave me a childhood filled with joy, love and peace. I always knew I was unconditionally loved by them and by my heavenly Father. I cannot thank my mother enough for leading me to my rock – Jesus Christ my Savior. Thank you mom. I love you!

Walk with the King!

***For those who do not have a good mom as a role model – it’s our chance to be the mom to our children that my mom was to me. With God’s help we can do this too – we must saturate ourselves in God’s word and obey it. Join me on the journey!

Vlog: How To Give Your Child An Effective Time-Out

Tedd Tripp in Shepherding a Child’s Heart (a book I highly recommend) says “You must not be embarrassed to be authorities for your children. You exercise authority as God’s agent. You may not direct your children for your own agenda or convenience. You must direct your children on God’s behalf for their good.”

Remember that just as you are in authority over your children - you are under authority to God. You are both in the same boat – under the authority of God. When your child disobeys God by disobeying you – and we fail to be loving, kind, self-controlled and gentle while we are training our children – then we are also disobeying God.

Our goal should not be to change their outward behavior but to change their heart. And those changes can only come through loving discipline and Godly instruction.

Here’s how I do time outs:

Proverbs 1:7 says “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and discipline.”

If we as moms fail to teach our children the fear of the Lord and the greatness of God daily through role modeling it in our life, reading Bible stories, memorizing verses with them and prayer – then we can expect the heart of our children to be hard. We must remember to teach them God’s word in fun moments along the way of life – so when we pull out verses during training time they don’t feel thumped over the head by God’s word but rather lovingly instructed.

Remember that when you train your child, you train generations to come – so persevere! Galatians 6:9 “Do not grow weary in doing good for in due season you will reap a harvest IF you do not give up.”

Walk with the King!

I am linking up here :

Vlog: Children’s Object Lesson – Watch What You Say

Deuteronomy 6:7 says to teach our children God’s commands along the way of life.

It is important that we train our children to watch what they say. We can save them from a lot of heartache by simply teaching them to think before speaking.

(You’ll notice in the video that we had done a “dry run through” so the kids are a bit more “dramatic”and taking the words out of my mouth – so funny! I wish it were a little less scripted but you get the point!)

James 3:5,6 says The tongue is a small part of the body, but it makes great boasts. Consider what a great forest is set on fire by a small spark. The tongue also is a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body. It corrupts the whole person, sets the whole course of his life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell.”


The next time your kids are brushing their teeth or your cooking with Hot Sauce – add a little spiritual lesson in there just for fun! I think it’s these little teaching moments along the way of life that really stick.

Walk with the King!

I am linked up here today:

works for me wednesday at we are that family