Monday, June 20, 2016

How To Make Time For The Kids. Healthy Habits. Trip To Palestine!


For “Scripture Sunday”, late agaain, as it is Monday.

How to Make Time for Them


“It's a fact: The less time children and parents spend together and the fewer thoughts and activities they share, the more powerful the entertainment media, peer groups and other influences will be in shaping the thoughts and lives of our children.

Whether or not a child will adopt the parents' values depends upon the establishment of a close relationship with the parent and a continuing and positive parental presence throughout childhood,”; says Dr. Isabelle Fox, author of Being There: The Benefits of a Stay-at-Home Parent.

Your children need to know you value them and that your time with them is for you a top priority.

“You make kids feel valued by spending regular time with them,”; Dr. Fox says. “When your kids feel valued, they'll identify with you and want to please you. They're not going to learn from someone they don't have a relationship with.”;

Of course, with busy and sometimes conflicting schedules of family members, time together is not always easy to come by. One way to ensure that you and your children spend time together is to block out time on your daily and weekly calendars to be with them, just as you would schedule a meeting with an important client. Some families set aside a regular time each week for family get-togethers. One father told me: “We keep Sunday afternoons free for family outings, day trips, hiking, going to movies, a dinner out and the like. It helps us stay bonded together.”;

You might want to designate one evening a week as family night. Explain to your children that this is a time for family activities and conversation. Plan to feature something interesting each week. It might be miniature golf or a baseball game; other times it might be an evening at home with games and popcorn.

Carefully evaluate your family activities. Simply wandering around a shopping mall as a form of family entertainment on weekends can leave everyone feeling unsatisfied and put the emphasis on wrong values. Instead of the mall, substitute active, family-centered activities such as a trip to a museum, a walk in the woods or a visit to a park or arboretum.

Family time can also mean getting work done together. Rather than dividing up household chores, let everyone help cook dinner, clean up the kitchen or do yard work, laundry and maintenance projects around the house. Not only will your children get to spend time with you, but they will learn to do new things and observe their parents working.”  From:




4 Healthy Habits to Start Right Now

We often intend to start good habits—just not today. So these habits generally never begin. Here are four habits to start now. Not next week or next year. Today!

4 Healthy Habits to Start Right NowI know I need to, but ….”

How often have we used this excuse to describe our relationship with healthy habits? The answer is, too often. It seems like every time we read some article that has scientific backing for a healthy habit, we get inspired to say something like, “Starting Monday, I’m going to ….” Then Monday comes and goes, and we just feel guilty instead of successful.

Motivation is the key to everything. Here are four biblical habits that we need to motivate ourselves to do regularly. The biblical support for each of these healthy habits, as well as some perspectives and hints, should be the proverbial kick in the pants that we all need sometimes.

1. Pray every day for at least as long as a Netflix cartoon episode.

The apostle Paul tells us to “pray without ceasing” ( 1 Thessalonians 5:17 ). The rationale behind this healthy habit is putting a priority on prayer: Isn’t talking to God more important than the time it takes to watch a 20-30 minute cartoon or sitcom on Netflix, play a video game or scroll through Facebook?

Strategy: Make prayer a priority by doing it immediately when you wake up in the morning. King David set an example of regular prayer three times a day: “Evening and morning and at noon I will pray” (Psalm 55:17 ). Even if our prayers at different times of the day are not of equal length, we should make sure at least one of those intervals allows deeper quality time with God. For more ideas and help, read “Plotting Your Prayer Life.”  You can have healthy habits that will positively affect your daily life. Ask God for help to implement these daily habits.

2. Study the Bible every day for at least as long as you check your Facebook feeds.

Remember: “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work” (2 Timothy 3:16-17).

Again, it all comes back to priorities: Isn’t studying the actual Word of God more important than that same amount of time writing a rant on Facebook, checking news websites several times a day or obsessing over work emails? Are we letting other messages obstruct us from God’s message to us?

Strategies: Just like prayer, we have to build Bible study into our daily routines. We could set a phone alarm alerting us to turn the screens off and open the Bible up. We could start studying the Bible during lunchtime. There are options available that give us easy access to the Bible anywhere: online Bibles, audio Bibles, podcasts, Bible apps or the old-fashioned ink-and-paper kind.

We publish many resources to help you study the Bible. Please browse our articles on “Bible Study.”

3. Eat a reasonable diet of beneficial foods, and exercise regularly.

The apostle Paul spoke of the physical body and mind this way: “Do you not know that you are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you? If anyone defiles the temple of God, God will destroy him. For the temple of God is holy, which temple you are” (1 Corinthians 3:16-18).

This habit has a lot to do with perception: Does treating my body like God’s temple include regularly overindulging in harmful foods and lazily avoiding the movement the body was designed for?

Let’s think about how to apply this. Is trying to eat greater amounts of vegetables than processed sugars an unimaginable thought? Is trying to achieve at least 150 minutes per week of moderate intensity exercise (anything from a brisk walk to mowing the lawn) an impossible task?

Strategies: Eat a vegetable every day. For exercise, set a cumulative countdown of 150 minutes on a stop watch app at the beginning of the week and regularly dedicate time to achieving that goal. There are many health apps you can download on your phone to track exercise and even give you notifications and reminders.

For further insight on health, read “Healthy Diet.”

4. Sleep!

King David said, “I will both lie down in peace, and sleep; for You alone, O Lord, make me dwell in safety” (Psalm 4:8).

Human beings need sleep. Does getting sufficient sleep every night mean that I can’t enjoy my mornings or evenings? Of course not!

Isn’t trying to get between seven to eight hours of sleep a night more important than that extra Netflix episode or that novel that we can’t put down (or other time wasters)? Our bodies rebel in different, unwanted ways when we don’t get enough sleep. When we are tired, we will be less productive at work and less motivated to pray and study.

Strategies: On work or school nights, try to go to bed seven to eight hours before you have to get up. People often want to make up sleep time in the morning, but we are more productive when we get that sleep time during the night. Read “Replace Oversleeping With Motivation” for further insight into healthy sleep habits.

You can do this

You can have healthy habits that will positively affect your daily life. Ask God for help to implement these daily habits. He gives us the strength to build proper habits ( Philippians 4:13 ).

Why not get started today?”

For further insight into healthy habits we need in our lives today, read “Health Science and the Bible.”


3 Obstacles to Your Healthy Habits

“In the last post, we discussed specific habits we need to build in our lives. But there will always be obstacles to maintaining good habits. So what can we do?


When we build the habits of prayer and Bible study, we feel a stronger connection to our Creator. No amount of miraculous experiences or spiritual “feel-good” moments can take the place of that consistent link with God.

When we care for our bodies through good health habits, we get a sense of accomplishment and happiness in our lives. We just plain feel better.

Sounds wonderful, right? Except for the pesky fact that an army of obstacles will try to get us to compromise and abandon these healthy habits. So what do we do? We fight. We fight for our spiritual, physical and mental health.

Imagine these obstacles personified and calling your name.

1. The time-wasting obstacle: “Come waste time with me!”
  • I’m your Facebook feed that you just have to check. Once I have you looking at me, I can keep you occupied for at least 20 minutes (maybe more!). The newsfeed never ends, and I make it too irresistible to look away. Funny memes, interesting videos and other people’s lives look deceptively better than yours. How can you resist me?
  • I’m all the movies, TV shows, novels, sports, 24-hour news, political debates and screen time that give you a break from reality. I have endless hours of entertainment, intrigue, drama and other people’s reality. How can you resist me?

How can you face this obstacle? Do better than most adults in the United States by watching less than the average four hours of television a night. Redeem the time instead (Ephesians 5:16; Colossians 4:5). In that four hours you could do at least a half hour of Bible study, a half hour of prayer, a half hour of exercise and a half hour of preparing healthy food. And you would still have almost two hours of entertainment, social media and relaxation left over.

You can do this!

2. The necessary obligations obstacle: “I’m more necessary and urgent than God and your health!”
  • I’m your job that takes up most of your time during the week. You need me to support your family, so you feel obligated to put me ahead of almost everything else. I try to get you to avoid making time for God and instead whisper, “I’m your job. You can’t neglect me, so spend even more time with me. This is just the way it is.”
  • I’m your house that always has something needing to be fixed. You need to spend hours on me in order to provide a nice shelter for your family. I try to make you put your most expensive possession ahead of God and your health. After all, you can’t just let your house fall apart!  

How can you face this obstacle? Hard work is an important virtue, so we can’t just stop working (Proverbs 27:23). But we have to remember that our relationship with God is even more important (Deuteronomy 6:5). If our overall busyness in doing the necessary things in life is keeping us from the more necessary things—spiritual and physical health—then we need to reevaluate and reprioritize our time.

3. The difficulty obstacle: “Change is too hard, so don’t do it!”
  • I’m the old habits in your life. I come back to haunt you as much as I possibly can. After a week of great eating, I’m that large milkshake that calls out to you! After sleeping so well, I’m that weekend Netflix binge that tempts you to stay up past midnight. After exercising diligently, I’m the two-week couch potato marathon. After studying the Bible and praying every day, I’m the “urgent” situations that challenge your priorities.
  • I’m the doubt in your mind that you can change. I’m the temptation to just give in and not care.

How can you face this obstacle? Changing will never be easy (Ephesians 4:22; Colossians 3:8-9), but it is something God does and will always expect humans to do—for our own good. So we should get used to it and do it!

For further insight into defeating these obstacles, read “6 Steps to Overcoming Bad Habits.”  From:



Gradually getting a bit more work done on the guest house.  Roy has been putting in switches for ceiling lights that were moved, such as in the closet, overhead bathroom light and exhaust fan, and the light above where the new vanity will be. 

On Friday, 10th, after working on the guest house, I cooked the Saturday pot-luck and the Sunday Pentecost meal as both were Sabbaths and we are not supposed to cook on the Sabbath.

On Saturday, the 11th, the Bible readings were Num. 8:1-12:16, Zech. 2:14-4:7 and John 19:31-37 and the Teaching was about Pentecost.  I took a buttered crumb sweet potato casserole, and a dessert made with canned pumpkin in a cherry jello with chocolate chips.  One of the elders brought lamb in a big crockpot that was tender and delicious.  They had the left overs that night after their Pentecost service. 

As we share the church with a Sunday Baptist church, we couldn’t use the chapel for Pentecost on the right day, Sunday the 12th, so our church had it the evening before.  I don’t drive in the dark, so I went to the Penetecost Celebration on Sunday afternoon at The Church Of God, in Huntsville, TX.  It was so good to see some old friends again, but farther than I like to drive on a hot Texas summer afternoon.  The Teaching was “Christ Live Within - We Win.”  I took the big electric chef’s pot that I had prepared on the Friday, of parsleyed cabbage, ground grass-fed beef, onion, sliced new potatoes and carrots, which was very well received and eaten up.

DSCF1174Then on Tuesday, I made a trip to Palestine,…… Texas, that is!  I had the van serviced for the trip, and a neighbor foster-mom came and fed my foster cats.  That’s the view from my daughter’s driveway, Lake Palestine is through those trees, and there is a boat ramp and fishing pier right across the road.

The central air conditioner at my daughter and son-in-law’s place on Lake Palestine wasn’t working.  They decided that as they are so seldom there, that they would just install some window AC’s.  My daughter’s SUV could not pick them up and take them there, because there would not be enough room with herself, one medium size dog, two grandsons, luggage and one enormous dog.  So I picked up the ACs at Lowe’s in Conroe, and delivered them to Lake Palestine in my van. It was a long drive on country roads, but we all had a good time there.  I also took some home-cooked organic food, and they were all surprised that they liked it.  I hadn’t seen these two of my great-grandsons for several years, so it was great to get to know them again.  Nice polite kids, and a joy to be around.  My daughter still had to work on the Wednesday, posting on her computer, but the second evening she took us out for dinner in Chandler, TX to a Mexican restaurant called San Pedros, and we all had delicious avocado, mushroom, onion enchiladas.  I stayed for two nights, Tuesday and Wednesday and then came home a different way, on a boring freeway.  But it is a long way for me to drive, 150 miles each way.

Thursday was spent unpacking the van.  Friday we worked on the guest house and I cooked food ready for the Sabbath,  Dirty Rice, made with beef, carrots, chopped bell peppers and onions.  I was surprised how popular it was, as I don’t care for rice myself.

On Saturday the 18th, the Bible readings were Deut. 6:4, Num. 16:1-19:32, 1 Sam. 11:14-12:22 and all of Jude.  The Teaching was ‘Keep Out of this World”, and what happens if we follow the wrong paths.

This time the elder brought chicken in an alfredo sauce and there were other great dishes, salads, desserts and company, so a great time was had by all.

It is now getting close to official summertime and you can tell it by the temperature rising each day.

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