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Archive for the ‘Devotion’ Category

My mind is racing. After blogging about coupons, I have been thinking about “finances/money”.

I heard on the radio that James Dobson’s Focus on the Family laid off 20% of its workforce. Definitely due to the economic downturns, but I assume also because of lesser support from its donors (since FOF is a nonprofit that rely on giving friends).

And in another front, I read a post on how to survive these depressing times. Different writers and experts are telling me(you) a lot of confusing things. Should we put more money into the stock market? Should we hoard cash? Should we buy gold? (HA! Like I even have extra money to start with.)

In dark times like we are in now, there is no assurance that investing into the financial market will get you more money in the long term. There is no security in the banks, or in our investments anymore. It’s mindboggling that the whole foundation of the world’s financial structure rests on “speculations” and fear. Where there is fear of collapse, there shall surely be one. Whoever conceived of the stock market has it so wrong!

How can we survive the recession? Here’s something radical to consider – GIVE AWAY.

Give more. Give beyond your capacity. Give to the Kingdom. This is the only secret to having a secure future.

It’s been proven since time began, that when one gives, the blessings come back beyond measure. If you think your 401K and stocks will get you through to your old age, well how’s this? If you give to God, he will reward you beyond your lifetime. And your children beyond them.

See, God is the one who supplies our every need anyway. He’s the Source of all blessing. He controls the floodgates, and when he opens it, you can be sure the blessings from heaven will be a torrential rain. Oh no, don’t expect just a shower, or “beggar’s food”. It’s a flood. It’s a bountiful harvest. It’s like fishnets ripping open.

But what is asked of us? GIVE. Your whole tithe, your generous gifts, your offerings of thanksgiving. Oy, don’t be stingy! Don’t be worried. Don’t be counting either. Just. GIVE.

And then you’ll have more, and there will not be enough room for it, so says the Lord.

 

“Now he who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will also supply and increase your store of seed and will enlarge the harvest of your righteousness.

You will be made rich in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion, and through us your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God.” (2 Corinthians 9:10-11)

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It is better, if God should will it so, that you suffer for doing what is right rather than for doing what is wrong.
1 Peter 3:17 NASB

Girl sitting reading book looking surprised. Barbara was working on her needlepoint, and I was reading the newspaper. It was any weeknight in America –just the way Norman Rockwell pictured it.

At least it was until our eighth grader, Benjamin, popped his head up from behind his school-assigned book and said, “Dad, I don’t think I should be reading this.”

“What do you mean, buddy?” I asked.

“This story–it’s got some pretty graphic details about a man and a woman in it. You know, sex!” He blushed a bit and shot a nervous glance at his mom, who nearly jabbed her finger with that sewing needle.

“Let me see that book,” I said. Quickly flipping through a few pages, I could see right away why he was concerned. He was dead on. This book was explicit and graphic as it spun a romantic tale.

As it turned out, we were able to help him get an alternate assignment. After his teacher originally threatened him with a zero for not reading this particular book, we came to a meeting of the minds and were happy with the result. But nothing made us happier than seeing our son’s conscience in action, knowing that at 14 he already had an acute sense of right and wrong–and the courage to choose what he knew was best.

I can promise you that living-room stories like these don’t happen without lots of work on the part of parents. Lots of Scripture. Lots of prayer together. Lots of offhand conversations, teachable moments and direct disciplinary actions.

If you’re doing it right, parenthood often means being a pain to your children, interfering with what they want. But those early years of character development are so important. That’s when you play the role of your children’s consciences–calling them, training them, prodding them on to a higher good, helping them learn the value of refusing evil.

Discuss
How have you seen your children’s consciences fire into action?

Pray
Pray that the Lord will always keep your kids’ consciences tender to His touch.

 

Taken from Moments Like This. Dennis Rainey.

image: sxc

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How you view your children and what you think about discipline can help you stay calm and use healthy routines when things get tough. Imagine a car dealership where a man named Martin works in the showroom. Martin sells cars to prospective customers. If he sees a car without a door, he’s surprised and upset. He doesn’t expect to see defects. Cars in the showroom are supposed to be finished.

cars assembly Bill, on the other hand, works in the factory and inspects cars for flaws and missing parts. It’s his job to find problems and fix them. In fact, Bill is prepared with a number of routines depending on the nature of the problem. If a door is missing, Bill doesn’t get upset; he just goes through his routine of obtaining a door and putting it on.

Bill knows that when a car is on the production line it requires continual work. Doors are added, pieces are put together, and workers are continually looking for ways to improve the product.

cars-assembly-02 Viewing your children as works in progress instead of as finished products can help you respond to them without harshness or frustration. Like Bill, you can view problems as opportunities. Misbehavior and relational struggles are indicators of where your child needs help to grow and mature.

Parents are often frustrated by the continual need for correction and the endless number of mistakes that children make. If you can remember that your children are on the production line instead of in the showroom, your expectations will lead you to solutions instead of to anger.

vintage-cars Paul knew that his readers were a work in progress when he said in Philippians 1:6 “he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” God is also at work in your children and sometimes it takes time to see progress.

 

 

 

 

This tip comes from the book, “Good and Angry, Exchanging Frustration for Character in You and Your Kids,” by Dr. Scott Turansky and Joanne Miller.  

images: flickr-assembly;flickr-car

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                            Are you aware that if we died tomorrow, the company
                               that we are working for could easily replace us in
                                                        a matter of days.

                               But the family we left behind will feel the loss
                                               for the rest of their lives.
                            And come to think of it, we pour ourselves more
                                        into work than into our own family,
                                           an unwise investment indeed,
                                                    don’t you think?

Do you know what the word FAMILY means?
FAMILY = (F)ATHER (A)ND (M)OTHER (I) (L)OVE (Y)OU

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I ran into a stranger as he passed by,
Oh excuse me please” was my reply.
He said, “Please excuse me too;
I wasn’t watching for you
.”

We were very polite, this stranger and I.
We went on our way and we said goodbye.

But at home a different story is told,
How we treat our loved ones, young and old.

Later that day, cooking the evening meal,
My son stood beside me very still.
When I turned, I nearly knocked him down.
Move out of the way,” I said with a frown.

(more…)

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Waiting For Aslan

In the film “Narnian Chronicles: Prince Caspian“, Lucy says, “You’re all acting like there’s only two options: dying here or dying there … or have you forgotten who really defeated the White Witch, Peter?” Peter responds, “I think we’ve waited for Aslan long enough.”

 Teaser one-sheet

We are proactive people. Problem solvers. Movers and shakers. We do not easily wait for someone else to take charge. Waiting is not in our DNA.
We are also self-reliant people. We’ll do it ourselves, our way. We do not easily step aside and allow someone else to do for us what we think we can do for ourselves.
The Bible is clear that those admirable traits can get in the way of achieving even greater endeavors. Only when we let God work on our behalf – working in and through us to accomplish His purposes – do we really experience His strength. Check out these verses:

  • “Not by might, nor by power, but by My Spirit” says the Lord. Zechariah 4:6
  • It is not by sword or spear that the Lord saves; for the battle is the Lord’s. 1 Samuel 17:47
  • Those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint. Isaiah 40:31

 

image: interlinc-online resource

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Watch and be stumped!

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