Sunday, June 25, 2017

5 Keys for Handling Stress. Coping With Anxiety. Update.

For “Scripture Sunday”:

5 Keys for Handling Stress

“How can we cope with the increasing stresses of our modern world? God’s Word provides answers.

5 Keys for Handling Stress

Everyone experiences it. No person of sound mind gets through life without facing it. Like it or not, stress is part of everyone’s life. As comedy writer Jane Wagner quipped, “Reality is the leading cause of stress for those in touch with it.”

Whether we’re young people trying to learn about life and find a way to be successful or adults trying to survive and navigate our complex world, we all have our lists of concerns and things to worry about.

And if we don’t have enough on our own lists, we live in a world filled with life-threatening chaos. Will or won’t North Korea attempt to use a nuclear weapon? Will the civil war in Syria ever come to an end? Will the U.S. and Russia ever see eye to eye? How long before the unrelenting tension in the Middle East ignites another full-scale war? Will we be innocent victims of crime?

The website of the American Institute of Stress (AIS) says, “There are numerous emotional and physical disorders that have been linked to stress including depression, anxiety, heart attacks, stroke, hypertension, immune system disturbances that increase susceptibility to infections, a host of viral linked disorders ranging from the common cold and herpes to AIDS and certain cancers, as well as autoimmune diseases like rheumatoid arthritis and multiple sclerosis.

“In addition stress can have direct effects on the skin (rashes, hives, atopic dermatitis), the gastrointestinal system (GERD, peptic ulcer, irritable bowel syndrome, ulcerative colitis) and can contribute to insomnia and degenerative neurological disorders like Parkinson’s disease. In fact, it’s hard to think of any disease in which stress cannot play an aggravating role or any part of the body that is not affected. … This list will undoubtedly grow as the extensive ramifications of stress are increasingly being appreciated” (“Stress Effects”).

Research confirms that stress affects us both physically and mentally.

Stress prophesied to increase

Some 2,000 years ago the Bible predicted that stress would increase as humanity entered the end times—the time that begins just before the return of Jesus Christ to establish the Kingdom of God here on earth. Writing to Timothy, his beloved protégé in the ministry, Paul said, “But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come” (2 Timothy 3:1, emphasis added throughout).

This phrase, “perilous times,” is translated variously as “terrible times,” “grievous times,” “times of trouble” and “difficult times.” Reflecting the effects this time will have upon people, the marginal note in the New King James Version describes it as “times of stress.”

What Paul was explaining to Timothy was a concept that had previously been addressed by Daniel, Jeremiah and Jesus. Centuries before Paul, God had revealed through Daniel that there would come a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation” (Daniel 12:1). Subsequent verses in this passage show that this would be the state of affairs preceding the resurrections, which occur at and after Christ’s return (compare verses 2-3 with 1 Thessalonians 4:16 and Revelation 20:4-5).

The prophet Jeremiah wrote of a “time of Jacob’s trouble when the descendants of Abraham would face difficulties so severe that men would have pale faces and act like women in labor (Jeremiah 30:7). Though this prophecy is directed toward the descendants of the ancient Israelites, this time of difficulty will not be limited to these peoples.

As Christ explained, before He returns, the entire world will experience great tribulation and be threatened with total extinction (Matthew 24:21-22). The escalating effects of the four horsemen of the Apocalypse, representing false prophets, war, famine and disease (compare Matthew 24:5-8 and Revelation 6:2-8), along with this “great tribulation” will bring unprecedented times of stress.

Five keys for dealing with stress

While humans have always faced stress (see “Stressful Experiences for God’s People), stress in the end time is clearly going to increase. So how are we to navigate these difficult times ahead? Thankfully, the Bible gives us five strategies for dealing with stress in our lives today as well as for when even more difficult times come.” 

Continued at: https://lifehopeandtruth.com/relationships/health/5-keys-for-handling-stress/

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Coping With Anxiety.

“The anxiety and worry we may feel in this stressed society seem to only make our other problems worse. Is there anything positive we can do?

Coping with anxiety.

There are plenty of things to worry about these days: Where can I find a job? How am I going to be able to pay my bills? Will we lose our home? Will I ever be able to retire? In what kind of world will my children grow up?

Generation stressed

How is your life going? Are you trying to cope with more stress and anxiety than ever? Do you feel overwhelmed, like you are unable to even catch your breath? Perhaps you feel that you’re trying to fight off discouragement.

Of course, we hope your life is going well; but considering the global economic fallout that began in 2008, more people than ever are suffering from high stress levels—and it seems to be coming from even more directions.

Thousands of people are faced with very serious illnesses, in some cases terminal. The number of older couples who now have grown-up children moving back home because of a job loss or broken marriage is on the rise. Still others are coping with the health issues and needed care of aging parents.

According to an article in Forbes magazine in March of 2012, 60 percent of current college graduates are unable to find work in their chosen field. In fact, after spending the time and money for a college education, many recent graduates have had to settle for jobs that don’t even require a college degree. Many studies show this trend is not likely to turn around quickly, adding even more pressure and anxiety to what so many are already laboring under.

Positive vs. negative stress

A certain amount of stress is normal, healthy, even stimulating. It can make us work harder, think more deeply and be more creative and alert to new possibilities and solutions. When confronted by a demanding situation, we may feel excited and energized to meet the challenge and persevere. Studies show that facing positive stress and working our way through it leads to a greater degree of satisfaction with life and an enhanced sense of well-being.

But too much stress—where problems are coming at us faster and with more intensity than we can handle them or where they are bigger than any solutions we have for them—is not healthy. At that point, stress can turn into anxiety, discouragement, despair or even hopelessness.

King Solomon understood the impact of too much stress when he wrote, “Anxiety in the heart of man causes depression, but a good word makes it glad” (Proverbs 12:25). Also, “A merry heart makes a cheerful countenance, but by sorrow of the heart the spirit is broken” (Proverbs 15:13).

Under normal circumstances, most of us are able to cope with the trials and struggles of life. It is a part of everyone’s life and just something we must all work our way through. The first part of Proverbs 18:14 says, “The spirit of a man will sustain him in sickness,” and that is so. A normal level of optimism and clear thinking will helps us navigate regular troubles.

But that changes when the problems are huge and seeming to come in droves. Trials that linger for long periods of time also tax our emotional reserves until we feel that we have nothing left. The last part of Proverbs 18:14 says, “…but who can bear a broken spirit?” The broken spirit—out of options, out of time and out of the emotional energy to continue the fight—is what leads us to spiral down into discouragement.

Paralyzed by discouragement

When problems get really severe and our emotional reserves are depleted, we may lose all desire to do anything to improve our situation. We become mentally, emotionally and spiritually paralyzed.

Solomon also wrote, “A merry heart does good, like medicine, but a broken spirit dries the bones” (Proverbs 17:22, emphasis added throughout). The broken spirit feels there is no help available, has no energy and no ideas for how to improve. And, as a result, someone facing this level of anxiety and depression may end up just doing nothing to improve or cope with things.”

Jesus Christ knew the severe anxiety, pressure and stress His disciples were going to face. He told them they would have persecution in the world, and that mankind in general would not listen to or readily accept the message they were to teach. But, in order to prevent them from becoming paralyzed by fear and discouragement, He told them, “These things I have spoken to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world” (John 16:33).

Take no anxious thought

Jesus Christ told His disciples not to allow worry and anxiety to take over their lives and thoughts.”

Continued at: https://lifehopeandtruth.com/relationships/health/coping-with-anxiety/

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Update:

Well, I haven’t heard from the man who made the offer on my house except for an online agreement, which I signed with my mouse, now that’s a first!  They are supposed to do an inspection, and that might give them an excuse to back out, but anyway, I have to be ready to close on the 7th. August 2017, in case it goes through.

So we haven’t put the new canvas canopy on the RV carport, as that can be done later as we will have to move that carport anyway. Roy was off for Father’s Day, and on Monday, it was back to work on the mini-house.  We gave up on fixing the chrome ceiling fan/light by taking the whole thing down and installing the white one out of the big house living room.  Then we installed another one that I don’t like very much in the big house living room. 

Tuesday, we had to do something to the yard.  The ratty old mower started at first pull again, and so Roy quickly ran it around.  The electric hedge clippers started at first pull of the finger, too, so the hedge looks better now.  Then we stapled up the welded wire fencing on the cross boards of the patched repaired fence, so critters can’t get in or out.  There was a space and I said to Roy that a Chihuahua could get out. He said “You don’t have a chihuahua”, so I said “ I didn’t when I rescued Marla or Paco or Peanut, but you never know when I might have one”.   Such is the life of an SPCA Foster Mom!  

I am happy to say that my shy little foster cat that belonged to the late Roni, “Puddin”, is now out of our SPCA cat habitat at Petco.  She is just too shy and stayed in the little cave area, so no one adopted her because they couldn’t see her.   She is so happy to be back home, and I am happy to have her back here.  As you can see, lots of ‘happiness’ here.  

Back in the mini-house, we have been concentrating on getting the walls ready for paint. For two mornings Hans came with his belt sander and got the top trim ready for installation.  So on Friday Roy nailed it up as it will be painted the same color as the walls, a very pale yellow like the rest of the place.  Then today, Sunday, Roy did some more floating and I was going ahead of him giving any protuding staple or nailheads an extra whollop.  Then I was measuring in the kitchen to see where to build in the microwave and toaster oven.  Then I measured the walls for furniture placement.  I still don’t know how much of my furniture will go in the mini-house.

On the Sabbath, I went back to my morning church on FM 1097.  The Bible readings were Num. 4:21-7:89, Judges 13:2-25, John 7:53-8:12.   One of the ladies, Travel, (yes, that is her name) has been in Georgia for a while and she and her brother, a pastor, are visitng, so he gave the Message.  Three quarter way through the service, at the time for the Message, I needed to help the pastor’s wife in the kitchen, and even though the Message was piped in there, he was very difficult to understand as he had a thick accent, so I missed most of it.

I had made Chicken, Brown Rice and Veggies, and Roasted Yellow Squash for the potluck.  But the Pièce de Résistance was the home made challah bread that Travel brought, and very tasty and tender was the brisket that the pastor and his wife brought.  

We all had a great time talking and chatting away in the dining hall with Travel and her brother Willie.  We haven’t seen them for a while so it was a great, but rainy day.

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Being a Better Dad. If I Were a Rich Dad. Children Need Time With Their Dads. Update

For Scripture Sunday: which is also “Father’s Day”:

Being a Better Dad

“With Father's Day upon us, here are some tips for us dads.

1. Don't be harsh or ridicule your child.

"And you, fathers, do not provoke your children to wrath..." (Ephesians 6:4). The New International Version translates it, "Do not exasperate your children."

This can also discourage children (Colossians 3:21).

2. Use everyday experiences to teach your children God's way.

"You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up" (Deuteronomy 6:7).

3. Did we mention, teach them about God and His way?

"…but bring them up in the training and admonition of the Lord" (Ephesians 6:4). The Amplified Bible says, "but rear them [tenderly] in the training and discipline and the counsel and admonition of the Lord."

For more on this subject, read the online article Does Father Know Best?

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If I Were a Rich Dad

If-I-Were-a-Rich-Dad“The book Rich Dad, Poor Dad taps into our desire to understand what the rich know. But I look to a different book to understand fatherhood—and true riches!

Many years ago on a long road trip taking our kids to summer camp, a friend played an audio book called Rich Dad, Poor Dad. The subtitle of the book is “What the Rich Teach Their Kids About Money That the Poor and Middle Class Do Not!”

The author’s basic theme is that his real dad, a highly educated public servant, constantly complained about being broke, while his best friend’s father constantly enjoyed the finer things in life. The book claims to be a collection of financial lessons he learned from both men. From the parts I heard, it was clear that he had more respect for his “rich dad’s” street sense and his financial goals and choices.

I admit that I didn’t hear the whole book and I remember even less, so I’m not trying to comment on any financial principles the book might espouse. But what stuck with me was the low esteem the author seemed to have for his real dad’s accomplishments in life.

My poor dad

My own father has never been rich, but I have felt richly blessed to have him as my father. My dad was actually doing fairly well financially working for a huge aerospace firm, but when he learned about the biblical Sabbath, he faced a choice between keeping his job or obeying the things he was learning in a best-selling book: the Holy Bible. He chose faith over financial security.

In his new profession as a self-employed house painter, my dad worked hard. He was fair—and more than fair—to his clients. He never wanted to charge more than he thought was reasonable, and he ended up absorbing some losses because he was too nice.

Doing these things did not lead my dad to financial success, but they are admirable qualities of a true and giving Christian. I saw the biblical principles of turning the other cheek and esteeming others better than himself in action (Matthew 5:39; Philippians 2:3).

My rich Dad

As much as I respect and appreciate my poor dad, I also appreciate that he helped introduce me to my rich Dad and His wonderful instruction book. By bringing me up “in the training and admonition of the Lord,” my dad helped me to identify the true riches (Ephesians 6:4).

What are those true riches? The Bible records this breathtaking promise to those God is calling:

“Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called children of God!” (1 John 3:1).

God—the Creator of the entire universe, the owner of all the gold and silver, the most powerful being imaginable—loves us and wants us to be His sons and daughters!

That’s a message that I want to share with my family and friends and everyone!

If I were a rich dad …

I am not considered rich in this society, but I have been blessed in many ways, including living in the United States and having a rewarding job that takes care of my needs. In talking with people from developing countries, I am reminded of how blessed I truly am!

However, I don’t have a large inheritance to pass on to my children in this world. Like Tevye in Fiddler on the Roof, I could wish I were a rich man—at least for the sake of my family.

But most of all, I hope that I have shared with my children what has been entrusted to me—the true riches of a spiritual relationship with God our Father. In the eternal scheme of things, that relationship is far more valuable than all the silver and gold in the universe.

I hope you will want to learn more about my rich Dad and His offer to humans to become His children. There is no priority more important! Please take time now to read more of what the Bible reveals about this wonderful truth in the article “Children of God.”

Happy Father’s Day to my poor dad and my rich Dad!”

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Children Need Time With Their Dads

“Ansel Adams, the famous photographer of the Yosemite valley, was a restless child who had difficulty adapting to traditional schools. His father decided to teach him at home where he spent time helping him discover and cultivate his talents. Ansel later said this about his father: "I am certain he established the positive direction of my life that otherwise, given my native hyperactivity, could have been confused and catastrophic. I trace who I am and the direction of my development to those years of growing up propelled especially by an internal spark tenderly kept alive by my father" (Source: www.pbs.org).

Children Need Time With Their DadAnsel Adams' story is an illustration of the vital truth that fathers can have a significant influence on their children's lives. When a father determines to make his children a top priority it conveys to them that they are deeply valued, needed and appreciated.

Children need time with their dads. This includes time to play, time to talk and to time to listen. When my son was about four or five years old and wanted to tell me something, I would often squat down and get at his level and look him in the eyes. Sometimes he would sit on my lap and put his arm around my neck as we talked. The feeling of closeness I had with my son during those times was priceless.

When a dad sets aside time in one-on-one opportunities with his children, it helps him become more familiar with their needs, fears, feelings and desires. When I was young my dad would often have me work with him on various projects around the house or at my grandparents' house. We would talk to each other as we worked but even when we were not conversing, just being alone with my dad was special and rewarding to me.

When a father spends time with his child he can also become better acquainted with his or her individual talents and abilities. Proverbs 22:6 says, "Train up a child in the way he should go and when he is old he will not depart from it." This scripture doesn't just mean disciplining children or giving them rules. It also means recognizing and directing a child's talents so he can best develop and utilize them throughout life, including earning a living.

Children also benefit by a father's masculine influence. By spending time with his dad, a son can discover more about being a man, and a daughter can learn how to understand and effectively relate to men. In a study of 200 fathers over four decades, psychologists John Snarey, Joseph Pleck and Anthony Maier found that a father's positive impact on his children can be substantial (Dad's Involvement With Kids Pays Off Now and in Future," June 15, 1989, by Marjory Roberts, Health & Fitness News Service; articles.sun-sentinel.com). The study found that a father's focused attention consistently produced confident, secure, capable children. Daughters for example, excelled at school when their fathers helped them learn physical skills. Sons, whose dads played games with them and took an interest in their friends, greatly benefited from such "warm, altruistic fathers," the researchers wrote.

Spiritual growth and maturity is also a vital fruit produced when a dad devotes time to his children. As he instructs them in spiritual, moral and ethical principles, they develop respect and honor, not only for God and His laws, but also for the laws of man. 2 Peter 3:18 explains that Christians should "grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and savior Jesus Christ." A child can develop in this manner just as can adults.

So fathers can have an enormously constructive influence on their offspring. By spending time with their children, dads can better understand their needs, apprehensions and aspirations. When a father nurtures and cultivates his children's talents and abilities, they can benefit physically, emotionally, intellectually, morally and spiritually. The incomparable fact is that children need time with their dads.

To learn more about the great importance of fathers and how they can adeptly help their children achieve true success in life, we invite you to read the following articles:

Playing the "Dad Card"

If Children Could Choose Their Parents

Where Have All the Fathers Gone?

Thanks for reading, and best regards.”  John LaBissoniere, Circulation Manager, The Good News.

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Update.

Not having been raised by my father, I have no idea what it is like to have one.  He was off overseas in the Air Force for years and years, and when he got out, I only lived with him and one of my stepmothers, for a short time.  Then he was always working, so I never saw him.  My mother had left when I was four years old, so I just lived here and there until I was 15, then I went out to work to support myself.  I was buying and selling bicycles and baby carriages to make my rent and food until I got a job handing out parts and keeping inventory in a factory.  As soon as I had a motor scooter I went on to working in banks.  Had to be 18 to get a car driver’s license in England back then.

A few more jobs are done even though we only worked five mornings this week.   We still haven’t installed the ceiling fan and light that are giving us so much trouble as we had to make a part for it.  We just had more important things to do.  The trim ring that the bell shaped housing screws onto was missing, so we cut one out of wood.  The bell housing will cover it, and the fan hangs on that globe thing anyway.   It is a very heavy fan and light, so we are not looking forward to wrestling that big thing in place!

Wednesday was a neighbor’s 83rd birthday and there was a potluck party for him at the YMCA where he exercises.  He took me there and I, with about 50 other seniors, did an hour of exercises before the potluck and then played Bingo.  I won a YMCA T-shirt.  I am not used to exercising, but I am walking around here, lifting things, going up and down ladders, so I suppose that qualifies as exercise.

The following day, the canvas canopy on the motor home carport cover had worn out in the middle, and so I had to order another one.  But before it could be installed, Roy primed and painted the metal frame so that it would all look new.  While he was painting and priming, he had started the ratty old mower for me.  It started at the first pull, and I mowed the front yard.  Then I knew that my arms were sore from the exercises the day before!

We spent a couple of mornings repairing the fence.  My place backs onto a main road, and I like the white wooden fence to be neat.  A lady had run into it several years ago and the repair that Jay did wasn’t very thorough.  Roy took down all that section of fence, and then we had to cut away a big old weed root which had grown up over the years as it was pushing out the bottom fence board.  He replaced the boards and then primed and painted them, too.  The welded wire that staples onto the fence to keep animals in or out still has to be re-installed.

On Friday, a man (a wholesaler) came and made me an offer on my house.  I discussed it with my daughter, and I think I will take it.  It has to be sold sometime as my daughter does not want to have to deal with it on top of all she has to do with her houses.   I am tired of paying out all this money on insurance, taxes, utilities etc., and it will be cheaper for me to live in the mini-house.  It will have to be made habitable first, though.  We had to remove the diverter on the Moen tub faucet as it wouldn’t stop dripping, and a new diverter is $80.  I might just put in a cheap faucet for now.  If I take the offer, it will be a mad scramble to get all this stuff out of here.

On Saturday, the Sabbath, I left early to go to the other church on FM 830 because they have a Bible Study first.  I arrived even earlier than anticipated and watched the band practice their songs.  Not just a guitar like the other church, this one had three guitars, two keyboards, a set of drums, and two lady singers.  They were very good.  The words are on a great big screen for everyone to follow along.  The Bible study was from Jeremiah.  The Teaching was “A Dad above All Other Dads” .  Some very interesting thoughts about child rearing according to the Bible.  I took hurried notes, and maybe one day I will decipher what I wrote, and be able to print it out.  The potluck afterwards was great and we all had a great time in the dining hall.

Today, my granddaughter, Michelle and her new fiance took me out for Father’s Day.  Michelle’s late mother, Becky, used to do that, too, as she said I had to be a mother and father to my children.

So to whom it may concern……….Happy Father’s Day.

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Modesty in Your Daughter. Modesty Is for Boys Too. Update.

For “Scripture Sun day”, but late again.  Time just goes so fast the older you get!

Modesty in Your Daughter.

“Teach your daughter that modesty is not just a matter of clothing, but also an attitude. The kinds of clothes we choose to wear can be a reflection of who we are on the inside.

4 Ways to Instill Modesty in Your Daughter

With warm weather comes the temptation for girls to dress immodestly. How can parents teach and guide their children to make modest clothing choices?

4 Ways to Instill Modesty in Your DaughterSummer is here, and with the hotter temperatures comes an inevitable decrease in modesty. Go to a public pool or beach, and you will likely see many girls wearing skimpy two-piece bikinis. Outside of the beach, you will see ultrashort shorts, tube or halter tops, and miniskirts.

Of course, modesty is not just an issue during summertime. Many girls wear clothing year-round that’s tight and shows a lot of skin. Often girls’ clothing is emblazoned with catchy little words and phrases like “Hottie,” “Sexy,” “If you’ve got it, flaunt it,” and “I know what guys want” (sometimes emblazoned on the seats of their pants).

Most parents do not want their daughters to dress this way. But it can be a challenge to find appropriate apparel in stores. Several “mom-friends” have told me how they have to weed through endless piles and racks of skimpy tops, dresses and swimsuits and go to countless shopping centers, before finding clothing for their daughters that’s even close to being wholesome.

Then there’s the issue of peer pressure. Even if you can find modest clothing styles for your daughter, she might not want to wear them. One friend relates: “Whatever kind of clothes my daughter’s friends wear, she wants to dress the same way. It may start out with just a couple girls from school wearing a racy little type of outfit, but before long, all the girls want the same style of clothes.”

So what’s a parent to do? The Bible says girls and women should “adorn themselves in modest apparel” (1 Timothy 2:9). The word modest here could also be translated “proper,” “respectable” or “decent.” This is not to say females need to pattern their fashion after Queen Victoria. But clothing worn out in public should not be sexually enticing or draw undue attention.

That’s why it’s so important for parents to teach their children and set boundaries (Deuteronomy 6:7). That’s not always easy to do, especially if your daughter begs, pleads and even insists on wearing clothing you believe is immodest.

Teach your daughter that modesty is not just a matter of clothing, but also an attitude. The kinds of clothes we choose to wear can be a reflection of who we are on the inside.If you find yourself in this situation, consider these four tips:

1. Talk about the importance of modesty.

Provide your daughter an explanation of why you are not allowing her to wear certain types of clothing. Kids want explanations and a framework for why you make the decisions you make. If you don’t teach your daughter why some styles are provocative and explain the problem with dressing this way, she likely won’t internalize the value of modesty.

Explain how wearing revealing clothing can attract the wrong kind of attention—and even dangerous individuals. Teach your daughter that modesty is not just a matter of clothing, but also an attitude. The kinds of clothes we choose to wear can be a reflection of who we are on the inside (Luke 6:45; 1 Peter 3:3-4).

2. Set the right example.

Model the right kinds of dress for your children. Let them see by your example that it’s possible to dress modestly and still be stylish. If you’re going out for a night on the town with your husband, go for the classy, elegant look rather than the suggestive or risqué look. Your kids notice what types of clothing choices you make. Modesty is something that needs to be taught in the home starting with example. Parents must teach this to their daughters first by their “behavior” (Titus 2:3-5). If modesty isn’t important to you, it won’t be to your children.

3. Shop together.

With our busy lifestyles, it can be easy to just give your daughter some money and drop her off at the mall to do her own shopping with her friends. Don’t do this. You need to be with your daughter—at least most of the time—to make sure she makes the right choices when buying clothes. If she’s shopping only with her friends, she’ll be more tempted to buy clothes that aren’t acceptable.

Make time to go shopping with your daughter, and be willing to go to as many different stores as it takes to find decent clothes. If time is lacking, check out different retailers’ websites to preview what they’re selling, so you don’t waste time going to stores that sell clothing that doesn’t meet your standards.

Make sure your daughter knows what styles are and aren’t okay before you go shopping. If she knows the guidelines in advance, your shopping trips will go more smoothly.

Here are some areas you can consider setting standards for: neckline, tightness, length of shorts or skirt, and what kind of wording and images appear on her clothing. As a parent, you have the responsibility to set general and specific guidelines for your daughter’s clothing when she is young so she can learn to make good choices herself as she gets older.

4. Don’t be afraid to say “No.”

Be willing to take a firm stand with your daughter and say “No” when you need to. It may help to at least acknowledge her feelings: “Yes, I know it’s not easy to be different.” “I realize you had your heart set on that dress.” “I understand that all your friends have string bikinis, but I don’t think girls should be seen in public that way.” Your daughter will appreciate that you’re recognizing how she feels, even though she may be disappointed with your decision.

Remember, you have an obligation to teach your children how to discern what is and isn’t in line with God’s way of life. You have the responsibility to set limits for your children.

The truth is, no matter how frustrated your child seems with your standards, deep down she’ll appreciate the fact that you care enough to set rules. And ultimately—though it may not be in the immediate future—she’s going to respect your standards and (hopefully) teach them to her children one day.” 

From: http://lifehopeandtruth.com/life/blog/4-ways-to-instill-modesty-in-your-daughter/

Our flagship magazine, Discern, frequently includes articles with practical tips on working with your children. The July/August 2016 issue has many articles on family. You can read current and past issues and subscribe on our Discern page.

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Modesty Is for Boys Too

“Modesty is a subject that often focuses on girls and their clothing. But is there more to it that applies to boys? How can parents address this issue with their sons?

Modesty Is for Boys TooWhat comes to mind when you hear the word modesty? If you’re like most people, you probably think about a girl’s clothing choices: Is her top too low or too tight? How short is her skirt? Are her pants too tight? Is she showing too much skin? Is she dressing in a way that attracts the wrong kind of attention?

And it’s true—these are all aspects of modesty. If you have children, it’s important to talk about these issues with them. To get parents thinking more about this topic, this past summer we published a blog post titled “4 Ways to Instill Modesty in Your Daughter.”

Girls were the focus of that post, but modesty is not just for females. Modesty is an important virtue for boys too!

Just like girls, boys can also make inappropriate clothing choices. Go to a shopping center or park (on a warm day), and you’ll probably see guys wearing cut-off shirts, muscle tees, stringer tanks and low-slung pants with hiked-up boxer shorts. True, the objective for boys isn’t usually to “look sexy” (as is often the case when girls dress inappropriately), but the purpose of these styles is often still to draw attention—perhaps in an attempt to look cool or show off their biceps or sculpted abs.

Obviously, not all young men are interested in wearing these kind of clothes. That was the case with my sons. They’re adults now, but when they were growing up, one son preferred western wear and the other just wanted to wear football jerseys—neither of which could be considered “indecent” attire. Still, my husband and I often talked about modesty with them because there’s more to modesty than just what type of clothes you wear.

What is modesty?

Modesty can be defined as “conduct, manner, speech or appearance intended to avoid impropriety or indecency.” It involves avoiding behavior that is sexually impure, pretentious, vain or boastful; and not drawing undue attention to the self. Clothing choice is only one of many ways we can be immodest.

We should strive to glorify God with our words, actions and appearance—meaning we should strive to live in a way that pleases and reflects Him.The Bible identifies the core issue of modesty: “Whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God” (1 Corinthians 10:31). We should strive to glorify God with our words, actions and appearance—meaning we should strive to live in a way that pleases and reflects Him. Practicing modesty is one way to do this.

When my sons were growing up, five key aspects of modesty came up over and over again in our conversations on this issue. Here they are, and I hope you’ll find them to be good conversation-starters with your own children:

1. Modesty applies to words, attitudes and actions as much as clothing choices.

Kids need to know that even if they are wearing “modest clothing,” they can still be “immodest” by behaving in a shameful, arrogant, brash or indecent way. This obviously includes any kind of sexually promiscuous behavior, as well as things like crude speech and profanity, telling or listening to off-color jokes, bragging, gossiping, being physically aggressive and showing disrespect to teachers.

2. Both modesty and immodesty start in the mind. 

To be truly modest, the place to start is in your thoughts. Proverbs 23:7 tells us, “For as he thinks in his heart, so is he.” If your child is striving to be pure in character, it’s much more likely he will dress, groom himself and behave appropriately. On the other hand, immodesty can get a foothold when pleasing the “self” becomes what’s most important—instead of obeying God. Humility is a major character trait found in the Bible, so help your kids develop it from a young age.

3. Godly character should be your focus, not a worldly definition of physical attraction.

Society bombards young men with the message that looking “hot,” “sexy” and “buff” is where it’s at. Boys need to be reminded that God is far more concerned with their character (1 Samuel 16:7) than their abs or biceps—which are temporary. Building godly character should be the priority, because that’s what lasts.

4. While who you are on the inside is the most important, how you dress and groom yourself still matters.

Just as what comes out of the mouth is from the heart (Matthew 15:18), our outward appearance reflects our inward character. If you allow your son to wear T-shirts with explicit or provocative messages, have an outrageous or flamboyant hairstyle, or dress very sloppily for school or church services, he’s going to send the wrong message to everyone who sees him. Instead, choose a look that promotes purity and godly values.

5. The way to determine if your attire is acceptable is to ask yourself whether it reflects God’s standards.

Clothing fads like skimpy swim trunks and hiked-up boxer shorts may not be specifically forbidden in the Bible, but right and wrong motives certainly are. Kids need to know that trying to allure the opposite sex or draw attention by wearing certain kinds of clothes is not proper. They should ask themselves: “What am I trying to accomplish with what I am wearing?” If the motivation is a matter of seeking the wrong kind of attention, it’s probably not an appropriate clothing choice.

Make it a point to discuss these issues with your kids. Even if you only have sons and no daughters, and even if they’re not drawn to outrageous clothing styles, modesty is still a vital topic to address. It’s up to you, as the parent, to help your kids understand what modesty really means and why it’s so important.”

From: https://lifehopeandtruth.com/life/blog/modesty-is-for-boys-too/

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Update.

It took three representatives from the internet/cable company, but finally the Internet, Phone and TV are all working.  One man had to run a new wire from the box outside by the pole to way down the street to another place to get it working, so it wasn’t all my old wiring’s fault.  This put me behind several days with all the outages and waiting for different workers to come from the Internet company.  I haven’t been able to list stuff for sale as much as I would usually.

We have been working mainly on getting a certain unusual ceiling fan/light repaired for the guest house (mini-house).  The broken circular florescent light bulb that was in it, is no longer available, so we had to use a different light kit for it.  It had to be something different and special, and fortunately I had one, but it took a while to get it attached to the fan and wired up right. We have only just finished that part, and hanging it will come next.  We only work three hours a day, so everything takes time.

Finally, I bought a mower, it looks like it came out of a dumpster, but it cuts grass and what more can I ask of it?  So at least the yard it more presentable.

Having been given some beef oxtails, I made an oxtail stew for the church pot luck.  The “Uber-Hearty Oxtail Soup Recipe for Slow Cooker” recipe called for onions, ginger, carrots, potatoes, apples, yams, kidney beans and lots of spices.  It turned out very well, but I hadn’t realized how greasy oxtails were, so I spent a long time getting all the fat off the meat when I deboned it. By the time I had done all that, there wasn’t much meat, but it was tender and tasty. Then I strained off the liquid and let it sit in the fridge overnight so that I could scoop all the fat off the top before putting it back in with the oxtails and veggies.  It was good, but I don’t think I will make it again soon.  I also took some more of the multigrain sweet rolls that I had in the freezer.  They always go over big. 

We had a more Bible readings this week:  Col. 1:15-20, Lev. 26:3-27:34, Jer. 16:19-17:14, John 14:5-21, and 15:10-15.  I don’t know why, but it was colder in the chapel that it has ever been, my head and sinuses stopped up, my eyes were running, and I just couldn’t stay there.  So I missed the Teaching. The pastor’s wife likes it that cold, but I sure don’t.  Her knee is much better now and I think that she can manage to take care of the kitchen without me.  Laura, one of the elder’s wives can help her.

So I am making plans to go to a different church, the Church of God on FM 830, next Saturday.  Their service is a bit later in the day, and a much larger congregation.  Jay and I used to go there every week, but he didn’t like afternoon church because he said it interfered with his day (drinking) and didn’t want to go, so that is why I found a morning church service.  I have visited from time to time, and it is like seeing old friends.  Every Sabbath they have Bible study before the service and once a month they have Bible Trivia which is like Password.  They also have a pot luck and fellowship after the service.

On Sunday, Hans invited me to go to Bible Study at his church just down the street.  When I got there I found out that they were studying out of Les Feldick’s books. Now I study with Les Feldick on TV every weekday morning at 6.30, so had already studied that part, but it was interesting all over again.  I stayed for the church service, and then Hans took me out to lunch at a new place in our little town.  It was like a waffle house but called Huddle House. Nearly all the dishes contained ham, bacon, or pork, so I had a Garden Omelet with hash browns.   Then Hans had me show him how to get the details about Israeli tours on his computer.  He hardly ever uses his computer and doesn’t really know how to use it.  It was a pleasant day.

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

The Feast of Pentecost. Thunderstorm Blessings. Update.

Well!   This was supposed to be for “Scripture Sunday” which was Pentecost, but this is Wednesday and I still have no Internet, Phone or TV. 

Finally, at 8.00pm,  I do have Internet and Phone.  But the house has to be rewired for the TV.

Why should Christians celebrate the Feast of Pentecost?

 6 comments

“Jesus Christ chose the Feast of Weeks (Shavuot in Hebrew) or Pentecost to begin His Church. What is the meaning of Pentecost for Christians today?

A wheat field up close.Nitin Bhosale/Unsplash

Why should Christians celebrate the Feast of Pentecost?

The third of God’s annual festivals (after the Feast of Unleavened Bread) is the Feast of Weeks, or Pentecost (Leviticus 23:16-21; Acts 2:1). This festival, also called the Feast of Harvest or Firstfruits (Exodus 23:16; Exodus 34:22), was also the day God first granted His Spirit to the New Testament Church of God (Acts 2).

Pentecost portrays God as the Lord of His harvest, choosing and preparing the firstfruits of His coming Kingdom by giving them His Holy Spirit (Matthew 9:38; Luke 10:2; Romans 8:23; James 1:18). The preceding festival of Unleavened Bread pictures our commitment to come out of a sinful life and live our lives by God’s perfect laws. But we can’t do this on our own. Pentecost pictures God’s willingness to give His Holy Spirit to provide the power those He has called need.

God’s Holy Spirit empowers us with the love of God, the motivation to obey Him and a sound mind to discern His truth (2 Timothy 1:7; John 15:26; John 16:13). Only those who are led by God’s Spirit are called the sons of God (Romans 8:9, Romans 8:14). These Christians have a pledge or down payment on eternal life (2 Corinthians 5:5) and can look forward to the first resurrection, which is to eternal life in God’s family.

The Church of God, which began on Pentecost (Acts 2), is given the mission of preaching the good news of the Kingdom of God in preparation for the next step in God’s plan, the return of Jesus Christ. This is pictured by the next festival, the Feast of Trumpets.”

From: https://www.ucg.org/bible-study-tools/bible-questions-and-answers/why-should-christians-celebrate-the-feast-of-pentecost

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The Feast of Pentecost, The Firstfruits of God's Harvest.

“Pentecost serves as a reminder that God grants His Holy Spirit to the firstfruits of His spiritual harvest.

Wheat fieldDesignpics

This festival is known by several names that derive from its meaning and timing. Also known as the Feast of Harvest, it represents the firstfruits gathered as the result of the labor of those who completed the spring grain harvests in ancient Israel.

In the process of revealing His plan of salvation for mankind, God established His annual Holy Days around the harvest seasons in the Middle East (Leviticus 23:9-16; Exodus 23:14-16). Just as His people harvested their crops around these three festival seasons, God’s Holy Days show us how He is harvesting people for eternal life in His Kingdom.

The Holy Days have meanings that build upon each other. Together they progressively reveal how God works with humanity.

Earlier we saw Passover symbolizing Christ’s giving of Himself for us so our sins could be forgiven and we could be redeemed from death. We also learned how the Days of Unleavened Bread teach us that we must remove and avoid sin and instead obey God in actions and attitudes. The next festival and Holy Day, Pentecost, builds on this important foundation.

This festival is known by several names that derive from its meaning and timing. Also known as the Feast of Harvest (Exodus 23:16), it represents the firstfruits (Numbers 28:26) gathered as the result of the labor of those who completed the spring grain harvests in ancient Israel (Exodus 23:16).

It is also called the Feast of Weeks (Exodus 34:22), with this name coming from the seven weeks plus one day (50 days in all) that are counted to determine when to celebrate this festival (Leviticus 23:16). Similarly, in the New Testament, which was written in Greek, this festival is known as Pentecost ( Pentekostos in the original), which means “fiftieth” (W.E. Vine,Vine’s Complete Expository Dictionary of Old and New Testament Words , 1985, “Pentecost”).

Among Jews the most popular name for this festival is the Feast of Weeks, or Shavuot, in Hebrew. When celebrating this festival, many Jewish people recall one of the greatest events in history, God’s revealing of the law at Mount Sinai.

But Pentecost doesn’t just picture the giving of the law; it also shows—through a great miracle that occurred on the first Pentecost in the early Church—how we can persist in living by the spiritual intent of God’s laws.

The gift of Pentecost: the Holy Spirit

God chose the first Pentecost after Jesus Christ’s resurrection to pour out His Holy Spirit on 120 believers (Acts 1:15). “Now when the Day of Pentecost had fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven, as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. Then there appeared to them divided tongues, as of fire, and one sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues [languages], as the Spirit gave them utterance” (Acts 2:1-4).

The speaking in various languages occurred as a crowd of people from many nations gathered in Jerusalem, with each visitor hearing the speech of the disciples in his own native tongue (Acts 2:6-11). These astounding events demonstrated the presence of the Holy Spirit.”

More at: https://www.ucg.org/bible-study-tools/booklets/gods-holy-day-plan-the-promise-of-hope-for-all-mankind/the-feast-of-1

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“Dear Friends,
God gives us gifts throughout the year, but the Feast of Pentecost (June 4 this year) is a reminder of some of the greatest of them. God poured out the Holy Spirit on repentant people who were willing to be baptized on this day. He thus founded the New Testament Church, giving obedient disciples the fellowship and training He knew we would need. Through the Holy Spirit, He produced the fruit of transformed lives and spiritual growth, writing His beneficial laws on hearts and minds as He had always intended.

This week’s featured article, “Pentecost: God Gives His Holy Spirit,” examines the biblical background and meaning of this third step in God’s plan of salvation. Millions celebrate Pentecost, but how many really comprehend its part in this much-misunderstood plan?
Let’s take time to thank God for His gifts. May He bless you as you seek to understand and follow Him this week.”    

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Thunderstorm Blessings

An Amazing Fact: “We know thunder as the sonic shockwave created by lightning. Though scientists are still exploring the exact cause of the shockwave, one theory considers as a factor the extreme heat generated by lightning. The average temperature inside a bolt of lightning has been estimated at 36,300 degrees Fahrenheit, though it can spike as high as 54,000 degrees. Worldwide, there are about eight million lightning strikes per day—or 100 times every second.

Thunder is mentioned in the Bible 42 times, and reference to lightning is made 28 times. This should come as no surprise since thunder and lightning are such riveting displays of God’s awesome power.
Although the potentially devastating effects of lightning are well known, people are less aware of its beneficial side. Lightning helps to dissolve the atmosphere’s nitrogen, enabling it to combine with raindrops, which makes a great fertilizer for plants. Lightning also helps to balance Earth’s electrical field, and it contributes to the ozone layer, which helps shield the Earth from the harmful rays of the sun. Lightning storms also clean and revitalize the air.

Our planet is dependent on thunderstorms, and so are we. We couldn’t survive for long without them. Next time you see a flash of lightning and hear the rumble of thunder, why not whisper a prayer of thanks to our almighty God, who gives us blessings through the storms?”
KEY BIBLE TEXTS
The voice of the LORD is upon the waters: the God of glory thundereth: the LORD is upon many waters. The voice of the LORD is powerful; the voice of the LORD is full of majesty. Psalms 29:3-4 The LORD will give strength unto his people; the LORD will bless his people with peace. Psalms 29:11

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Update.

The thunderstorms sure have wreaked havoc here the last few days.  The Internet, Phone and TV are only just now being fixed.  The worker is here right now trying to fix it.  I feel so sorry for him as he is a portly man and it’s hot up in my attic where the splitters and cables are.  He has had to re-do all the TV coax cable outlets as he says that is part of the way I get Internet and the connections were all old.  This house was wired for cable back when it was analog, so it’s all outdated.  Then there is another crew on it’s way as this man says there is something wrong with the underground cables, too. 

I can draft this on Open Live Writer without the internet, but I will have to have it to post this. 

We, my helper, Roy and I were very glad that we had put up gutters on the carport so one can get in and out of the car, and walk through that carport to the mini-house without getting soaked.  The new gutters on the west side of the mini-house should stop a lot of water from going under that house.  Then we made an awning to go over the back door of the mini-house as we couldn’t leave the door open without the rain getting the floor wet.  The weather has been nice enough to have the front and back doors open, and not run the AC.  I bought some motion-detector light bulbs and we have been putting them in all the outside lights, and even installed two light fixtures at the doors at each end of the green house and put motion detector bulbs in those, too.

We went down to Roni’s place (now mine) and straightened the place up a bit.  I still don’t have a mower, so Roy trimmed some of the high parts down with a weedeater.  I was straightening up the lumber pile, and Roy found a lot of worms, so he has kept them to go fishing.  I felt sorry for the worms, I think they would have had a happier life just living under that woodpile!

Just thinking ahead as I knew that I would be busy on Friday taking my neighbor to his doctor, so on Thursday I cooked and cooked ready for the two Sabbaths coming up.  First, the ‘Saturday every week Sabbath’, then Pentecost on Sunday, which is also a Holy Day and Sabbath.   I made Sauteed Cabbage with Shredded Carrots, and a Ground Beef Stew for the church pot-luck.  Then while I was at it, with the TV and Internet not working, I made Stewed Tomatoes, Steamed Carrots, Steamed Potatoes, and Steamed Squash and baked some cod.  Give me some time and I’ll spend a lot of it cooking.  Having all that food already prepared helps when I am getting a meal ready.  We had a lot of left overs at the church, so several dishes were frozen for another Sabbath.  I had made a very big Ground Beef Stew, and was able to freeze some of it, too.

The Bible readings on the Saturday were Lev. 25:1-26:2, Jer. 32:6-32:37, and 1 Cor. 7:17-21.  And the Teaching was about the Holy Spirit being right there on Mount Sinai for the first Pentecost.

On Sunday morning, I had an idea that as it was Pentecost that I would go to the little church which started out in the Pavillion in my subdivision, but grew big enough to have it’s own building just adjacent to the subdivision.   I was thinking that if Roy, my helper, really wanted to go to church that this is one that he could get to on his bicycle.  Like most churches, the folks welcomed me, and I saw Hans, a German gentleman from my subdivision who I hadn’t talked to for years.  We sat together during the service and then he wanted to come to my little church for the afternoon service.  My church was having their Pentecost service in the afternoon, as the other congregation with whom we share the church meets there on Sunday mornings.  So after lunch he picked me up in his car and we went to my church eight miles away.   Hans seemed to like the service very much. 

The Bible readings were Lev. 23:15-21, Num. 28:26-31 and Acts 2:1-21 and the Teaching was about the Holy Spirit coming down among the people at that Pentecost.

Then we had our usual potluck, which Hans enjoyed along with the fellowship and he was talking to our elders quite a bit.  I was busy cleaning up the kitchen and putting food away, so I don’t know what they were talking about.  Hans wanted my phone number, but the phone has been out along with the Internet and TV, so I don’t know if he has called.  As, in my day, a lady didn’t call a man she doesn’t know well, so I have not called him.  If he wants to see me again, he will call again when the phone is fixed or he knows where I live and he’ll stop by one day!

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Being a Foster Child Is Only Temporary. May has been proclaimed National Foster Care Month.

Special post as May has been proclaimed National Foster Care Month.

Being a Foster Child Is Only Temporary

“Being a foster child can be one of the most difficult experiences someone can live through. But God above is our Father when no human father is our own, and He is our Rock no matter what.

A young girl looking sad.Mike Pham/Unsplash

You may be, or have been, a temporary foster child, but you will never be a temporary child of God. God will heal whatever is broken in us.

May has been proclaimed National Foster Care Month. In the U.S.today, approximately 400,000 children and youth are in foster care at any given time. Each year, about 20,000 of these young people “age out” of foster care, which means that when they become 18, they are on their own.

National Foster Care Month sure brought back memories for me, as I am a survivor of living in foster care. I still remember as a little girl of 4 standing there watching my mother hurried about gathering things and placing them in an open suitcase on the couch. My mother carefully buttoned up my coat and took my tiny hand into hers.

There are many broken children—as I was—because the parents are broken. But the good news is we do not have to stay broken.

She picked up the suitcase with her other hand and walked me out to a strange car, where a strange lady waited. My mother placed the suitcase in the car, slowly bent down with tears in her eyes, placed me in the car, and walked away.

As we drove away, I looked back to see my mother fading into the distance. I wouldn’t see her again for another 10 years.

I sat there looking at the suitcase beside me, thinking about how she carefully packed my favorite dress and even placed my favorite stuffed monkey, Curious George, in it. Then I glared ahead at this strange woman driving me away to the strange unknown.

The only two stabilizing things throughout my childhood and teenage years were my twin brother, Jim, and God. They were the two who remained with me as I traveled from home to home. Our journey would include 11 families and two children’s homes before I became an adult.

I cannot describe how it felt to go into a strange home, complete with new parents, sisters and brothers. Faces I had never seen were to become my new mom and dad. I would face a new school and try to make new friends.

When difficulties came or the foster parents got tired, they would pack my suitcase and send me on my way because, of course, I did not belong to them. The foster parents had no lifetime commitment to love me, care for me, and be concerned for me. I would always cry the night before I moved to another home, knowing I would be leaving one family that I had grown used to and heading to another house, family and school.

The hardest part was just getting used to calling them Mom and Dad, and then it would be time to go.

That is how I lived along with my twin brother for the next 10 years. Everything was temporary: the home, parents and friends. Everything except God. It was God who saw my tears at night and heard my cries. He understood my fear and my great sense of not belonging anywhere, with no parents to call my own. He especially knew the emptiness I felt not having a dad.

God was there to pick me up and keep me going through each change of my life. He became my greatest Dad, who said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you” (Hebrew 13:5). My greatest Dad kept that promise.

God was there when I walked down the halls of a new school alone. He was there when I sat down for dinner for the first time with a new family. He was there when I left with my packed suitcase and said goodbye to the family I had gotten used to. My greatest Dad never let me walk alone when I carried my suitcase in to greet my new set of parents and siblings. He was there to fill my loneliness. I knew He was there, because I could not have survived had He not been.

There are many broken children—as I was—because the parents are broken. But the good news is we do not have to stay broken. We do not have to use this as a crutch to stop us from getting beyond the emotional trauma we suffered. I believe when my mother took my small hand in hers and led me to the car, that is when God reached down His hand and took mine.

Look what God says to you: ”So I say to you, ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you” (Luke 11:9). And in the Psalms: God is the “Father to the fatherless” (Psalms 68:5, New International Version).

What do you seek? What do you need? Ask your Father in heaven. Other things may be temporary, but our relationship with God is eternal. You may be, or have been, a temporary foster child, but you will never be a temporary child of God. God will heal whatever is broken in us.

One day, the whole world will be healed and there will never be a need for a foster care system again. No more broken families will exist in God’s Kingdom!”

From: https://www.ucg.org/beyond-today/blogs/being-a-foster-child-is-only-temporary

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Hi Y’all.

I wish this had been my experience when my mother walked out when I was 4 years old. I didn’t miss her, she was never around and wasn’t very nice to me.  My father was always distant, didn’t have much time for me and was serving overseas in the Air Force, so I was taken to live with different familes, so I didn’t have the feeling that I had a loving God or dad or mother.  No one told me that I DID have a Father who I could lean on.  So I had a very lonely childhood, and I didn’t realize what was missing, I just thought that there was only me to take care of me.  I wanted so much to be like other children and be part of a family, but that never happened.  At 15 I was sent out into the world, and that’s the way it has been since then. 

Later I realized that He was there all along, and everytime things would look so bleak, a ‘Godsend’ would happen and things would be OK again.  So then I would say a prayer of thanks.

May has been proclaimed National Foster Care Month so it is a rush to get this posted before the last day.

Sunday, May 28, 2017

Parenting Advice, The God-Centered Home. Update

For Scripture Sunday”:  More about families and their good relationships.

Parenting Advice

“Raising children can be fulfilling and frustrating. Seeking out parenting advice can make a difference between the success and failures in parenting.

Parenting Advice

Being a parent is a job full of challenges, large and small. Wouldn’t it be great to have a source of expert parenting advice? And especially in the biggest challenges, wouldn’t it be reassuring to have access to the best parenting advice of all?

Consider this scenario

You are so excited! Your new baby boy came home happy and healthy. You watch as he grows before your eyes. He is so full of energy, has a huge smile with those cute little dimples, and his laugh is contagious.

It seems in no time at all he learns how to walk and talk. It is tough for you (Mom and Dad) to keep up at times. He has more energy than it seems is humanly possible!

As your son continues to grow, you enroll him in T-ball and other sports and recreational activities. It isn’t long before he’s taking music lessons and getting started in school.

As time continues to pass, he’s moving from elementary school to middle school. Much of your time is now dedicated to picking him up from after-school programs, helping him with school projects and making sure he and his two younger sisters have all they need. You are so proud of all three of them! By now they are all involved in numerous activities and have friends in school and in church.

Behavioral issues may arise

Then one day you get an unexpected call from the school principal. She informs you that your son was caught cheating on a test. With great disappointment, you try to have a long discussion with your son when he comes home. He becomes distant and a bit sullen. He doesn’t want to talk about it, and he seems only to want to be anywhere but with you.

A couple of months later you are shocked when your son is caught smoking pot at school. Why would he do this? You have diligently taught him to stay away from drugs.

You also taught him to honor his mother and father, yet at times he is becoming very disrespectful to you and your spouse. Why would he think he can behave this way? Doesn’t he remember who took care of him and provided everything for him when he was growing up?

You try hard to help him and “be his friend,” with seemingly mixed results. Over time, some things get better while others don’t. Your honest evaluation is that your wonderful son is growing more and more selfish. Everything he does is focused on what he can get from others or how he can promote himself. And if it isn’t fun, he won’t do it.

Where did the attitude come from?

What has happened? Where did this come from? Is this what every parent has to look forward to? You have tried so hard to give him every opportunity you could, and you just can’t understand what happened.

Is this the way it is for everyone? Does it have to be this way? How do we break him from being so selfish? He never used to be that way—or did he?

Parenting advice about a common mistake

The truth is that all parents face various challenges in raising their children. There are no perfect parents or perfect children. But there is a common mistake made by many parents who love their children very much. It is a mistake made with all the very best of intentions—and it may make the difference between having children who grow up to be emotionally healthy and balanced or not.

The difference lies in the foundation of our parenting. We all make decisions within our families based on our underlying belief system. Our belief system determines how we raise our children—it is what seems right to us.

The best parenting advice is to make our home a God-centered home rather than a child-centered home.

What’s the difference between a child-centered home and a God-centered home? Many parents assume that a child-centered home is a God-centered home. After all, what could be wrong with putting your children’s wants and needs first? How could that hurt them?

To answer this question, let’s first define child-centered and God-centered.

The child-centered home

A child-centered home is one in which the primary motivation for everything that is thought, taught and done in the home is focused on the children and what they want or need.

And after all, the Bible teaches that we should love others as we love ourselves. So, if we’re trying to shower our children with love and attention, isn’t that not only good, but godly?

The God-centered home

Yes, it is true that God teaches us to love one another as we love ourselves, but He also teaches us that there is something that comes ahead of that command. “Jesus said to him, ‘You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the first and great commandment” (Matthew 22:37-38).

If we think about it carefully, we should begin to see a problem with the child-centered home. God commands that we seek Him first in everything we do—including our families. Rather than child-centered, where life revolves around our children, our families should be God-centered. That means everything that is thought, taught and done in our homes should be founded on our love for God and following His instructions.

Putting God-centeredness to the test

Let’s consider an example. Let’s say your child comes to you and wants to participate in youth soccer. You are fine with this and are willing to take him to and from practice and the games. You want to be a good parent and provide him with healthy, fulfilling activities. He wins a spot on the team, and practices begin that next Monday.

All is good until the schedule comes out and you find that some of the games are on God’s day of rest. Your family has taught the importance of worshipping and obeying God and going to church—but your son really wants to play soccer! So you now have to make a choice—do you allow him to play the games on God’s Sabbath (Exodus 20:8-11), or do you hold to the practice and belief of your family and put God first?

Your choice is between following the will of God or giving in to the will of your child. Whether you have a child-centered family or a God-centered family will determine the decision you will make. What would you choose to do? What values and strength of character will you demonstrate to your children?

The key

Here’s the key: Child-centered homes will justify compromise with what God teaches because they place a greater value on their children’s activities than on God’s commands. (Note: To be God-centered parents, we must be sure we carefully study and understand exactly what God does command His followers to do.)

If we really love our children, we need to be motivated more by what God teaches than by any other influence—including whether we are making our children “happy.” When we put God first, our children see and learn what is right and what is wrong. They learn what will ultimately make them happy and bring fulfillment, as opposed to what they believe will make them happy and lead to fulfillment.

If we do not practice this, it is merely a matter of time before our approach will lead to frustration, hurts and bad consequences. God-centered should always trump child-centered—this is wise parenting advice.

How can we evaluate our own homes?

How can we determine whether our families are God-centered or child-centered?

First, we must know what God teaches through the Bible. Colossians 3:1-2 states, “If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God. Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth.”

When this is our motivation, the decisions we make regarding child rearing will be different than if our motivation is child-centered.

As Proverbs 14:12 advises us, “There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death.” In other words, what can seem like a good thing to do for our children may not be that at all. The only sure foundation for our families is following God’s parenting advice in the Bible. Then and only then can we become a God-centered family.

Our most reliable source of parenting advice

The Bible is the best book of answers ever written. It is the only book in which each author was inspired by God to put His thoughts down in written form. It is the Word of God. If you can believe that, then you can also know it is the most important parenting advice manual ever written.

However, the real value of knowledge is when it is applied. Sometimes parents have to practice “tough love.” In reality, “tough love” can be tougher on us as parents than on our children!

Nobody enjoys saying no, and yet many times in life that is absolutely the most loving word our child can hear:

  • “No” because it would hurt them.
  • “No” because we don’t have the money.
  • “No” because it wouldn’t be wise based on what you read in the Bible.
Which way will you choose?

If we wish to help insure our children’s success in life and avoid some of the problems so many other parents face, we need to learn and follow what God teaches in the Bible. It must serve as our primary source of parenting advice. Matthew 4:4 reminds us that we are to live by “every word of God.”

Everything God says matters. Even what many may consider to be small points should not be disregarded. If we value the Bible, we will use it as the foundation of our parenting.

But conventional wisdom often tells us we should make our children and their needs and desires the center of our homes. It teaches that we must show our children that they are the most important things in our lives. As good as that may sound, the results of doing so aren’t good. They aren’t good, because centering on our children violates a principle taught by the greatest Father of all time.

Which way will you choose? We encourage you to make your home a God-centered home. It is guaranteed to produce wonderful results because it is based on the infallible Word of God. In the long run you won’t be disappointed!”

If you would like to read further about parenting, this “Parenting” section has many related articles for you to read. 

From: https://lifehopeandtruth.com/relationships/parenting/parenting-advice/

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Update.

This time I posted the whole article as I feel that it is important. 

I wish I had had this advice when I was rearing my children.  I had to raise them on my own most of the time due to divorce, war or death, so unfortunately, I was too wrapped up in earning enough money to keep them fed, clothed and housed.   I didn’t give much consideration to using the Bible as a foundation and How-To Book.  We did go to church, but not as often as we should.   Nevertheless, my three children turned out very well, and none turned to drink or drugs, Thank Goodness!  My youngest was a handful though, as he was hyper.  This was hard on me as I was getting older and he sure could come up with some weird ideas, and still does, even though he is nearly 50.

This week we went down to Roni’s place (now mine) twice.  The shanty will be demolished, so one day we took down all the shelves, and the next day we hauled off all the loose treated lumber that was in the yard.  We had intended to use the treated lumber to make a scaffold to help us install a gutter all along the west side of the mini-house.  That is where the rain comes off that big roof and sometimes it will rush under the house despite all the barriers that we have built.  But we came up with an easier way to do it and Roy was able to install the gutter and leafguard from an 8 ft. step ladder.  We installed three sections this morning, and hopefully will get it all up before we have another downpour like the one we had the other day.  It is supposed to rain each day this week, but we haven’t seen any yet.

After a good cleaning the varnished shelving was put to good use on the back wall of the mini-house kitchen.  We bradnailed screen molding on the fronts to finish it off.  These shelves will be painted white when we get to painting again.  Then we made the skeleton of the bridge cabinet that goes between the upper cabinets over the sink.  We have been slicing up some stained oak from a headboard on the table saw to make the ledger boards, and as all the door trims in the house are stained wood, this is another accent to the white cabinets. 

One afternoon, I drove about 25 miles over to the computer guy from church’s house.  His neighbor had a daybed for me.  I have had to use my spare computer since the main one messed up, so I took my computer as he said that he would look at it for me.  Then he said ”had to go into the registry because a lot of the dill files were gone”.  Well, I had plenty of dill weed and dill seeds here, but he said they weren’t compatible!  Ha-Ha.

For the church pot luck I made Steamed Swiss Chard and New Potatoes in Butter.  It was the first time I had cooked chard, I had heard how good it is for us, and I liked it better than kale    It is more expensive, but what price is there on one’s health?  I was going to make a roasted zucchini and yellow squash dish until I found out that the pastor’s wife was cooking that too.  So we had roast chicken, lasagne, sloppy joes, lots of veggies, and the usual assortment of cookies, cake and pie.

The Bible readings were Lev. 21:-24:23, Eze. 20:2-20 and Luke 4:16-21.  The Teaching was about The LORD is our helper, and we should trust in The LORD and walk with Him.

At church, the wonderful computer man brought back my main computer and said that it should work for a while, so, hooray, I am back posting with OpenLiveWriter.  We had a great time all talking and chatting around the dining tables and making plans for Pentecost, which will be next Sunday.

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Building Strong Families. Leaving a Legacy for Your Grandchildren. Update.

For "Scripture Sunday":   More about families.

Building Strong Families




"In 1979 the Pittsburgh Pirates professional baseball team surprised many by winning the World Series. It was a close-knit team and, to reflect this, they adopted the popular Sister Sledge song “We Are Family” to describe their strength and unity. The phrase The Family was stenciled on the dugout roof and on signs, bumper stickers and T-shirts everywhere. Family became the team identity.
Similarly, the traditional family can also be described as a team—hopefully a unified, supportive team. However, we all know that some teams are not very good when it comes to working together during difficult times, and it is not unheard of for players to blame each other for ongoing problems.
Sadly, the same can often be said of individual families. What must we do to strengthen and sustain our families?

Marriage and family under attack

Dramatic shifts in the culture and in the definitions of marriage and family have impacted many people today. It wasn’t that long ago that marriage was widely appreciated as an institution uniting a man and a woman as a team to share the task of raising children. Bringing children into the world and teaching, protecting and providing for them was seen as the primary tasks of parents.
But dramatic societal shifts have changed the composition of many families. Commenting on the results of the 2010 U.S. Census, The New York Times reported that “married couples represented just 48 percent of American households in 2010. … This was slightly less than in 2000, but far below the 78 percent of households occupied by married couples in 1950. What is more, just a fifth of households were traditional families—married couples with children—down from about a quarter a decade ago, and from 43 percent in 1950.”
The impact on children is equally dramatic. The New York Times article continued, “W. Bradford Wilcox, the director of the National Marriage Project at the University of Virginia, argues that the retreat from marriage is bad for society because it means less security for children. ‘It’s troubling because those kids are much more likely to be exposed to instability, complex family relations and poverty,’ he said” (“Married Couples Are No Longer a Majority, Census Finds,” May 26, 2011).
Because of the frequency of divorce and the various “alternative” family structures, the concept of a strong marriage and family may seem unrealistic or unattainable to many children today. The State of Our Unions, an annual report on marriage and family in the United States by the National Marriage Project, reveals disturbing and profound changes in this dramatic cultural shift and its impact on children. The U.S. statistics reported in the National Marriage Project’s 2012 “Social Indicators of Marital Health and Well-Being” are shocking:
  • Today 40 percent of all children and 72 percent of African-American children are born out of wedlock.
  • The number of cohabiting couples who live with children today is more than 15 times what it was in 1960. And today, 40 percent of all children will spend some time in a cohabiting household while growing up.
  • Roughly 1 million children each year experience parental divorce and its aftermath.
The shift away from nuclear families corresponds directly with attitudes among young adults, less than half of whom today believe it is wrong to have a child outside of marriage.
According to Stephanie J. Ventura of the National Center for Health Statistics, about 1.7 million babies were born to unmarried women in 2007, a 26 percent increase from 1.4 million in 2002 and more than double the number in 1980. Unmarried women accounted for 39.7 percent of all U.S. births in 2007—up from 34 percent in 2002 and more than double the percentage in 1980.
So what does it take to build strong, intact families today?
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Leaving a Legacy for Your Grandchildren



"My grandparents didn’t leave me much of an inheritance; they didn’t have much to give. But every now and then I open a small plastic bag from a box in my office and examine a few rare coins—old silver dollars Grandpa used to give me, one every birthday.
The 1922 Peace Dollar, I found out recently, might be worth as much as $25 … but I’ll never sell it. The memories that coin evokes are worth far more than that—they are priceless. It’s amazing how many warm remembrances of a grandfather’s influence a little round piece of metal can evoke more than 50 years later.
All of my grandparents have been gone for decades, and they died without many physical goods to leave to their children and grandchildren. But they all left an inheritance of better things, possessions that I hope to pass on to my grandchildren.

The greatest inheritances

“A good man leaves an inheritance to his children’s children,” Solomon told his son (Proverbs 13:22). Interestingly, grandparenting is one of the few stations in life where the playing field is level. That is, the poor and prosperous alike can pass on the greatest inheritances of all—wisdom, love, encouragement, memories and lessons learned.
“Grandparents should play the same role in the family as an elder statesman can in the government of a country,” is the way British author Erin Pizzey describes it. “They have the experience and knowledge that comes from surviving a great many years of life’s battles and the wisdom, hopefully, to recognize how their grandchildren can benefit from this” (Geoff Dench, ed., Grandmothers: The Changing Culture,p. 6).

A grandparent’s influence

Grandparents are in a stage of life that a child’s parents have not yet experienced, and it enables them to contribute in unique ways to a child’s development. Life usually slows down a little more for grandparents, and they’ve had more time to process life itself. God intended it to be that way and instructs grandparents to fill a special role in influencing the young ones.
Moses talked to the Israelites about this: “Take heed to yourself, and diligently keep yourself, lest you forget the things your eyes have seen, and lest they depart from your heart all the days of your life. And teach them to your children and your grandchildren” (Deuteronomy 4:9).
While the primary influence on a child is to be the parents, this first- and third-generation relationship offers a different level of teaching that can greatly supplement—without supplanting—the parents’ responsibilities.

A beautiful picture   

_______

Update:

This week we cut the holes out for the sink and the stove in the kitchen of the mini-house (guest house).  It looks a lot better with them in place.  We also installed some more of the upper cabinets.
On Tuesday I saw an Ear,Nose and Throat doctor about my sinuses.  I have had trouble with them for years.  I have a prescription that may not even start to make them feel better for a month.  We will see.

Early Wednesday morning, while it was still dark, I could see emergency flashing lights in the road behind my house.  I walked to the back yard and the road was blocked both ways with firetrucks, ambulances, and lots of police cars.  There were news choppers overhead, too.  A dark colored truck was in the ditch, a damaged police car and a damaged F250 in the road.  I got dressed, and the phone rang.  It was Roy, my helper, telling me that was his friend, Ronald, who had been in the dark colored truck. He was coming to pick up Roy so that they could go down to our boat ramp and do a little fishing before work.  Because a police car was involved there was a very thorough investigation with surveyors and camera, so it was quite a while before we were allowed to pick up all the fishing tackle, ice chests, folding chairs and other items that had bounced out of  Ronald's truck. The policeman had facial lacerations and was released from the hospital. Ronald has two broken legs, both kidneys and his spleen lacerated, and all his ribs broken.  It was mid-morning by the time we got that done and Jody was too shaken by it all, so we didn't work that day.

 Here is what it said on Montgomery Country Police Reporter.



6:45 a.m.
Around 5:30 a.m. Wednesday, a DPS Trooper and a civilian were struck on Calvary Road near Amblewood in the Willis area. The Trooper was attempting to assist the civilian in pushing his disabled vehicle off of the roadway when they were struck by a third driver. The trooper and the civilian, an older man, were transported by ambulance to Conroe Regional medical center. The civilian has serious but non-life-threatening injuries. The Trooper was also injured but not as seriously as the civilian.
It is unknown at this time whether the driver of the vehicle that struck the pair was injured.
Calvary Road is CLOSED in both directions in the area of the crash as it remains under investigation.
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One day we had an Internet outage, and my computer got a wild hair.  Suddenly I couldn't load AOL or go to a lot of my favorite sites, and a message would pop up saying that the sites wouldn't load correctly. Well, I have to be able to get to my mail to see messages from potential customers, so I had to go through Internet Explorer. It made me login in everywhere.   That is when I began to appreciate AOL and the many short cuts that it offers. The Carousel and the Little Red Heart, if you have had AOL you know what I mean.  ( I also get free Lifelok,  Legal Assistance and well as other things that come with the $11 a month fee.)  It is the only mail service that I have found that has a 'search' within the mail folders, and I use that a lot. I know most don't like AOL, but I do.  So I have had to switch to my other computer which won't load Open Live Writer.   That's why the blog looks different this time.

Thursday and Friday we got a bit more work done around here, and then I took Roy and his other fishing buddy to see Ronald in CCU.  He was conscious, and seemed to be in OK spirits, only hurting a lot.   But at the same time, my friend from church, Ann, was in ICU, and she wasn't conscious.  She had been taken to the hospital the night before because she suddenly came down with a lot of seizures, so they were keeping her sedated.  Please keep these two in your prayers.  Thank you.
Every day we should be thankful for our health and strength.  I know I am.

I have a lot of chicken in my freezer, but I am just not crazy about chicken because I was forced to eat it when I was young.  I don't buy it, it is given to me, so I often make it into dishes for the church potluck.  This time I made Chicken Breasts with Farro and Veggies.  I also took some Sweet Multi-grain Mountain Rolls, they are always well received, as they are so soft and easy to eat.  I arrived early so that I could help the pastor's wife as her knee is still hurting.

The Bible readings were Lev. 19:1-20:27, Eze. 20:2-26 and Matt. 5:38-48. and the Teaching was about the Temptations and Tests In The Life of A Believer.

I was supposed to stop and get a few things from the hardware store on the way home, but the van had finally cooled down, and there was no way that I wanted to park it again on such a warm day.