Faith, Love & Health

Archive for the category “Parenting”

Mom’s Wisdom

This morning I started reading through the book of Proverbs.  I first read it, then as I took my morning run I listened to an audio version of the 1st chapter and finally I stopped running and walked.  As I began walking I took time to pray  the passage back to God and finally too listen to what He was speaking into my life.  I love what my friend Mark says about our pace in life, ‘we need to slow down and become less busy’ – not an exact quote.  Slow down to hear the voice of God and also time to receive what He has for our lives.  Let’s read a portion of this passage together and maybe God will speak something special to you too.

1-6 These are the wise sayings of Solomon, David’s son, Israel’s king— Written down so we’ll know how to live well and right, to understand what life means and where it’s going; A manual for living, for learning what’s right and just and fair; To teach the inexperienced the ropes and give our young people a grasp on reality.  There’s something here also for seasoned men and women, still a thing or two for the experienced to learn— Fresh wisdom to probe and penetrate,
the rhymes and reasons of wise men and women.

7 Start with God—the first step in learning is bowing down to God; only fools thumb their noses at such wisdom and learning. 8 Pay close attention, friend, to what your father tells you; never forget what you learned at your mother’s knee.  Wear their counsel like flowers in your hair, like rings on your fingers.

Proverbs 1:1-8 (The Message)

The first thing I love about this passage is God’s saying that everything that you need for your life and to be successful is already written down.  Read and put it into action daily and you will experience it!  The truth is…none of us was born with all the knowledge need for our life, so we must seek after it if we are going to experience God’s best for our lives.  I know there are times when we think that we have all the answers, but this is called adolescence – the time in our life where we have very little experience to back up our knowledge.  I think many of us – including myself, revert back to acting in this manner where we go off to pursue our plans; thinking we know exactly what we need to do, but we end up disappointed or depressed due to our lack of success.

One of the first places that Solomon encourages us to start with is a humble heart.  Sometimes it is out of disappointment that we end up humble and ready to listen to God’s wisdom.  He goes on to say, listen to what your father taught you and what you learned from your mother.   So because Mother’s Day is this weekend, I prayed and meditated on this passage thinking back to the things my mother taught me.  Some of it was learned as she held me on her lap swinging me on our swing reading books to me after I would get home from school, while other things I learned in passing as she lived her life.  Here are a few things that I have learned from my mom:

The value to read God’s Holy Word, to pray, and to truly seek after God until you hear his voice! She also instilled in me to work hard and give your best at everything that you do, to listen and empathize with people, to be committed to your home and family, to love your spouse, be people of integrity, to stand strong in the mist of difficulty and to serve.  I wasn’t raised in a perfect home, but God placed me in this home to develop me and shape me and mold me into who I am today.

For some of us we may need to revisit what you  learned as a child because scripture goes on to say…”wear their counsel like a flower in your hair and rings on your fingers.”  This is making a choice to embrace the fullness of God’s wisdom and to daily apply those values in our life.

Do you want to be successful in your life?  Seek after God’s wisdom, relearn what you have been taught and apply it to your life.


Life Goals

I’ve been thinking through my life goals. One thought I have been asking myself has been, what things do I want to achieve before I die? I know that it is a huge question for many people. Some of the categories I am thinking through are:

-travel- places I want to visit
-dates- memories I want to make with Jen
– physical goals-this is health, fitness and long term care for my life
-foods- foods I have never experience that would be exciting to try.
-cultural- this the arts, dancing, and the like.
-spiritual goals- for me, this is leaving a spiritual legacy
-financial- this covers short term and long term, even thinking through passing on finances to my child and my grandchildren.
-education- growing intellectually
-family – thinking through family experiences, parenting, and spiritual growth

My favorite quote that goes well with life goals is by Dave Ramsey, “When you choose to live like no one else; one day; you will be like no one else.”

I know this is a lot to think through, but out of this thought, I have begun to experience things in my life that I would have never pursued unless I had challenged myself to think outside of myself. Sometimes we just exist to be what is offered to us in life, instead of pushing ourselves to experience new challenges.

This year instead of making a new years resolution for 2009, I’m asking myself, what life goals am I going to pursue this next year? So I leave you with the same question, what life goals are you going to pursue in 2009?

It Could Always Be Worst

This week immediately following our family breakfast I read a children’s book entitled, “It Could Always Be Worst.” 

It is about a poor man that lived in a hut with his wife, mother-in-law and six growing children.  Due to their tight living conditions they were frustrated with life and took it out on each other.  So one Day the poor man when to the Rabbi and said I’ll do whatever you ask me to do, but please help us, we’re all going crazy!  The wise rabbi asked it the man had any chickens and the man said yes, I have chickens, a rooster and a goose.  Good said the Rabbi, go take all of your chickens, rooster and goose and put them in your hut!  The man was a little hesitant, but he did.  Now everyone in the hut was even more frustrated, including the chickens!  So the poor man goes back to the Rabbi and shares that things are even worst then before and now feathers are getting in our soup!  The Rabbi ask, do you have a goat.  The poor man answers, yes we do.  The Rabbi says, Go home and bring the goat into your hut.  With much apprehention he goes home and brings the goat into the house.  Now there is much more quarralling, feathers flying and now a butting goat!  So he again goes to the Rabbi angry and up set.  The Rabbi agains sends the man home telling him to bring his cow into the house!  After doing everything the Rabbi has requesting…the hut is FULL and everyone is dissatisfied with life…so the poor man goes to the Rabbi expressing his explosive anger!  Finally the Rabbi says, go home and take all of the animals out of your hut!  The poor man returns home and takes all the animals out of his hut.  That night everyone was satified with the small hut and small living conditions in the hut. 

The implications are many, but the bottom line is…whereever you are in life, it could always be worst!  Tough we may be stressed out, on top of deadlines, and in the middle of fragile relationships, each of us can find peace in knowing, “We are not alone.”  God is with us, giving us His strength to see us through our difficulties. 

I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do everything through him who gives me strength.  -Phillipians 4:11-13



U.S. Parents Outsourcing Child Care Overseas

 Could this be the new wave of child care? 

Coffee Prayers

El Salvador

As many of you know I really enjoy a great cup of coffee.  I also collect coffee beans from around the world.  When I say collect, it isn’t the type of collection that you hold onto as a treasure, but one that you are able to share with friends, family or on special occasions.  I have started to buy an organic bean that Larry’s Beans distributes.  I get the beans from Coffee World, here in Raleigh.  I know we live in a Starbucks society, but after drinking a cup of organic beans you can taste the difference.  Right now I am drinking coffee from El Salvador.  What a great light taste it has with a hint of marshmallow as a sweet finish for every sip. Yummy! 

One of the new traditions that we are  starting as a family is praying for the country and any missionary we might know, according to were the coffee that we are drinking is from.  (Right know we are praying for the country of El Salvador and a friend of mine – Kevin Stewart.)  It really is a great way to teach your child about what is happening around the world, the locations of the country and talk about how missionaries are reaching people with the gospel message. 

Maybe the next time you grab of a cup of coffee you might think about that country, someone you might know and pray for them.  I think it is important for us to look for signs and ways to pause in our busy world and pray for what really matters, the people who we as a body are targeting to reach.

Battle Cry – San Francisco – ATT Park

battle cry  

If you have been in youth ministry for a while you have heard the name Ron Luce.  Though many look at Ron’s approach as very extreme, you will find that his motivation behind the war on America is a fight against immorality.  I think we would all agree that we desire to help preserve our moral beliefs and pass them down to our children.   The question is how do we pass down our beliefs to our children, yet not keep them ignorant to the issues of what is really happening in our immoral culture that we call America.

Everyday our own families are inundated with violence, sexuality, and individuals that deface the values that many of us grew up being parented under.  If we are ever going to win this battle against immorality, the church must be a voice in America.  Not just a voice, but believers that are unified in faith living a counter culture lifestyle that is relevant to the average person we come in contact with.  The best way to combat this is to educate our own children about why we believe the Biblical values that we profess.  We as parents, family members, friends, teachers and pastors should speak up, instead of being silent about immoral issues.  Many are trying to preserve their children’s life by shutting the ears of their children or sheltering them from being exposed to our culture. We tell our child not to speak using certain words or not to act in the manner that others do in our culture, but we haven’t helped them understand why.  This must stop!  To be a voice, our counter culture lifestyle must offer a solution and understanding that people in today’s society understand.  Not just opinions, but facts of the impact that our culture is having upon society and then practical actions that can be modeled in our life. 

What will you do to begin being a voice in your home, church and city?  Will you remain silent or like Ron Luce– sound the battle cry!  It is time to unify and live what we say we believe.  

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