Friday, June 3, 2016

Summer Activities to Promote Spiritual Growth

Summer is here, and that means your young ones have plenty of free time on their hands! Most parents desire their children participate in meaningful activities that are safe, fun, and won't break the bank. So, we sign them up for the summer reading programs, swimming lessons, and sports or music camps. But how can parents help their children grow spiritually over the summer months?

Here's a short list of activities that promote spiritual growth in which your child can participate:

1. Serve others. Organize a food drive, and give donations to a church pantry or food bank.

2. Read a biography about a Christian leader or missionary. Write an encouraging letter to a missionary, and commit to pray for that person throughout the summer.

3. Attend Vacation Bible School at a local church. It's a great way to make new friends, and grow in God's Word.

4. Attend a church youth camp.

5. Dive in to Bible study. I like the "Discover 4 Yourself" series by Precept Ministries. These books help kids learn God's truths in a fun way! A variety of topics are available, and you can order from Amazon. The series is suitable for 8 - 12 year-olds. 

May the Lord bless you with wisdom and creative ideas as you plan summer activities for your children! 
Loving Father God, thank you for the bounty and blessings of summer. As we begin this summer season, bless parents with wisdom to choose safe, healthy, and godly activities for their children. Protect our children from disease, injury, and harm. Give teen drivers wisdom and good judgment, and protect them from distractions. Bless our children with rest and renewed spirits. May your word be a lamp to their feet and a light for their path. Help them to grow in grace and in a deeper knowledge of your son, Jesus. May Bible reading, study, and memorization be given high priority. Help them to retain important and true concepts. Bring our families closer to you and to one another. In the precious name of Jesus, our Savior...amen.
In what summer activities do your children participate?

Friday, May 6, 2016

Mother's Day Prayers

Lord God, thank you for the gift of mothers. I pray for new moms as they celebrate their first Mother's Day. Bless them with wisdom and patience. Empower and enable them to raise their children to honor and obey You.

For those who grieve the loss of their mother or never knew her, fill the void with Your love, and comfort them with Your peace. Preserve their cherished memories. Remind them You are always with them.

And for those who long to be mothers, bless each woman with her heart's desire, and provide the resources necessary to become a mother. May they trust in You. In the precious name of Jesus, amen.

Saturday, April 2, 2016

A Prayer of Dedication

"I prayed for this child, and the LORD granted my request. In return, I am giving him to the LORD. He will be dedicated to the LORD for his whole life." And they worshiped the LORD there.
1 Samuel 1: 27-28 (God's Word Translation)

I love the Biblical story of Hannah, a childless woman, who prayed, wept, and asked the LORD for a son. Hannah promised to give her child to God for his entire life. The LORD answered. Hannah conceived, and gave birth to a boy. She named him Samuel. Hannah kept her vow, and her son served God.
I, like Hannah, prayed for a son. And I, like Hannah, promised him to the Lord.
But unlike Hannah, I failed. Forgive me, LORD, for holding on to him, and not remembering my promise to you. My son is yours!
My prayer is for children, and  their parents who dedicate them to God, their Creator.
Father God, you have a good plan for every individual. Thank you for our children...each one a gift from you. May each of our descendants love you with all their heart, mind, and strength. I pray they worship you only! For you are the one, true, living God!. You are holy, faithful, and loving. You are our Salvation! I pray they will follow and obey Jesus all their lives. Bless parents with wisdom, courage, and strength to teach your commands to these precious children. Protect them from evil. Amen.

Friday, March 11, 2016

Before I Meet My New Grandbaby

Prayers for my grandchildren begin long before the day of their birth. As we waited for the arrival of this new grandchild, I wrote this prayer. It will be the first in the baby's prayer journal.

Lord God, thank you for this child, still in the womb. You know this babe. You know the gender, the gifts, talents, and personality of this little one. Baby Cole, my fifth grandchild, is awesomely, wonderfully made! Give this child a heart to love and know you. Direct the steps of this baby all of his or her days. May the joy of the Lord be the strength of this precious one. I pray Baby Cole will grow in grace and in the knowledge of Jesus. Amen. (written January 9, 2016).

The news came..."It's a girl!" And she's "practically perfect in every way" (as Mary Poppins would say). Her name is Mena. She's a big girl...weighing over 8 pounds and 22 inches long. Momma and baby are doing well. Daddy's proud. Her four older siblings are thrilled, and love to hold her.

The Bible tells us children are a gift from the Lord. I look forward to discovering her unique personality, interests, strengths, and talents. I commit to pray for her and point her to our Awesome Creator along the way.

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Sacrificial Love

As we remember our loved ones this Valentine's Day, let's also remember the One who gave His life for all!

Gracious Heavenly Father,

Great are you LORD! We give you thanks for your unfailing love. Your love is amazing! Thank you for loving us so much you sent your son, Jesus the Messiah, as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.

Give us, our families, friends, and neighbors a deeper understanding that nothing can separate us from your love. May we grow to believe in your son, Jesus Christ; and may each of us love you with all our heart, soul, and mind. Help us love others as you have taught us. Fill hearts with love, mercy, compassion, and forgiveness. In the Name of Jesus, we offer this prayer...amen.

May the Lord bless you and yours this Valentine's Day!

Friday, January 22, 2016

The Cycle of Life

There is a time to be born, and a time to die.

Glenn Frey, a founding member of the Eagles, died this week. Hearing the news, fans called radio stations to share memories. I could not contain my tears.

Frey was the lead vocalist of the Eagles' hit song "Peaceful Easy Feeling." I have special memories attached to this rock classic. On our first date, my first husband, Michael,  played it on his guitar. It was the song I chose for our Mother-Son dance when my son married.

The day following Glenn Frey's passing,  my friend, Beth, became a first-time grandmother. There's a "New Kid in Town," and her name is Joey.

The cycle of life continues.

David wrote in Psalm 139, "...You created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place. When I was woven together in the depths of he earth, your eyes saw my unformed body. All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be."

God already knows the plan, the purpose, the personality, the thoughts, the gifts of this little one. God has already "wired" this child. Little by little, we'll watch the unfolding of this baby girl's life as a new flower opens its petals, and we will discover what her Creator already knows.

Legacy of Prayer- A Spiritual Trust Fund for the Generations by Jennifer Kennedy Den is about praying for your descendants, even those yet unborn. I pray for our grandchildren to know the Lord, His Word, His Ways, and His Will. I have learned this: God intends for us to impact future generations. Long after passing from this life, our influence still remains. May our influence honor our Creator.

There is a time to be born, and a time to's the Cycle of Life.

Saturday, January 9, 2016

My "Meditation" Journey- The First Steps

My 2016 ONE WORD is "Meditate." After reading Psalm 4, the latter part of verse 4 resonated with me:

"...Meditate within your heart on your bed, and be still."
I prayed the Holy Spirit would remind me to meditate in the night. During the night, when I awoke, I thought of the baby raccoon that took shelter on our front porch earlier that morning. Separated from its mother, the young raccoon appeared healthy, uninjured, and unafraid of people. It also seemed the little creature was lost and unsure how to care for itself. Animal control picked it up, and it would either be turned out in a field, or cared for by a wildlife rehabilitator until it was older.

As I remembered the raccoon cub, I considered these truths about creation:
God feeds the sparrows.
"Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?" Matthew 6: 26.
All creatures belong to the Lord. 
"For every animal of the forest is mine, and the cattle on a thousand hills." Psalm 50: 10.
Man has God-given dominion over animals.
"Rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air and over every living creature that moves on the ground." Genesis 1: 28b.
All creation groans as it waits for Christ's return.
"The whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time." Romans 8: 22.
All creatures will praise God.
"Then I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and on the sea, and all that is in them, singing: 'To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb be praise and honor and glory and power, for ever and ever!' " Revelation 5: 13.
The baby raccoon was alone and out-of-place. It took refuge from the cold, and huddled on the door mat. However, our Creator cares for this little cub.
God' people have a shelter when we're alone, distressed, confused, or wounded. The Lord God is our refuge and strength. Our Creator loves and cares for us.
As I meditated in  my bed, I considered my Awesome God. I felt peace and reassurance. It is good to remember the Lord in the night.