Putting the Bible First

In the instruction given in our schools, the natural and the spiritual are to be combined.  The laws obeyed by the earth reveal the fact that it is under the masterly power of an infinite God.  The same principles run through the spiritual and the natural world.  Divorce God from the acquisition of knowledge, and you have a lame, one-sided education, dead to all the saving qualities that give true power to man.  The Author of nature is the Author of the Bible. Creation and Christianity have one God.  God is revealed in nature, and God is revealed in His word.  In clear rays the light shines from the sacred page, showing us the living God, as represented in the laws of His government, in the creation of the world, in the heavens that He has garnished.  His power is to be recognized as the only means of redeeming the world from the degrading superstitions that are so dishonoring to God and man.

The student who in his school life becomes familiar with the truths of God’s word and feels their transforming power upon his heart will represent the character of Christ to the world in a well-ordered life and a godly conversation.  God will do great things for those who will open the heart to His word and let it take possession of the soul temple.  The departure from the simplicity of true godliness on the part of students has had an influence to weaken character and lessen mental vigor.  Their advancement in the sciences has been retarded, while if they had been like Daniel, hearers and doers of the word of God, they would have advanced as he did in all branches of learning upon which they entered.  Being pure=minded, they would have become strong-minded.  Every intellectual faculty would have been sharpened.

When the Bible is made the guide and counselor, it exerts an ennobling influence upon the mind.  Its study more than any other will refine and elevate.  It will enlarge the mind of the candid student, endowing it with new impulses and fresh vigor.  It will give greater efficiency to the faculties by bringing them in contact with grand, far-reaching truths.  If the mind becomes dwarfed and inefficient, it is because it is left to deal with commonplace subjects only.  Let the Bible be received as the food of the soul, the best and most effectual means of purifying and strengthening the intellect.

Out of the heart are the issues of life; and the heart of the community, of the church, and of the nation is the household.  The well-being of society, the success of the church, the property of the nation, depend upon home influences.

Counsels to Parents, Teachers, and Students, pp. 395-396

 

Questions to Ask Your Kids

building character

Questions to Ask Your Kids (and Yourself!) That Inspire Character Development
1. Did you make someone smile today?
2. What did you do today that was hard?
3. Where did you see good today?
4. Where did you do good today?
5. Do you have anything you did today that you regret?
6. Did you tell someone thank you today? What for?
7. Were there any tough situations today that you weren’t quite sure how to handle? What did you do?
8. Tell me something nice about one of your friends. Encourage them to tell that friend also.
9. Were you honest about something today that was hard for you to be truthful about?
10. Where did you see God today?
11. What did you feel grateful about today?
12. How did you experience joy today?
13. Was there a time you had to be patient today?
14. Did you have the opportunity to be a servant leader today?
15. Where did you need someone else to have grace with you today?
16. Did you need to show courage in any way today?
17. Who did you reach out to today?
18. When did you show self-control?

Thank you, Amy, for sharing!

New Resource: The Lion and His Men

I was excited to come across this new You-Tube channel.  I think you will be, as well!

The Lion and His Men is a new ministry by Sean Nebblett that is beginning this year. I am excited because it is for men.  I, also, believe this would be equally beneficial for older male teens, possibly 14-15yo and older, that are trying to figure out who they want to be.  (Parents, please review to see if it will be a good fit for your child at his age/maturity.)  They will get some awesome guidance in some very specific character traits that can “shine” in men.

So, please check it out.  You can click the logo image above to find the channel, and check out the embedded video below.

Thanks, Sean!  We want to encourage you with this new ministry!  May God guide and direct you with each new episode you produce!

 

Motivation Monday

This past week was a busy one for me. I got a call, early morning on the first, that my oldest daughter was in labor and I needed to head up quickly to watch my grandkids. They took the kids to friends of theirs a couple blocks away as I made my way up. I got a text just before getting to my grandsons that she had already delivered the baby, just minutes after arriving at the hospital.

I picked up the boys and headed to their house. We made breakfast, washed dishes together, got dressed, played and read books until Mom and Dad returned home later in the afternoon. I really enjoyed my time with my grandsons. Their smiles. Them taking my hand and showing me new things that I hadn’t seen before. Them snuggling close as we read stories together. Their squeals of laughter as we made silly movements to a silly song. My heart was softened and refreshed by spending time with them.

As a new parent, I remember thinking that I now had little ones that I needed to mold and nurture. While this is true, part of parenting the child molds and grows us as adults. As I recalled my own children being born, I can look back and see how each child challenged my own character. Each one taught me something new about myself. Each one created an awareness that I still had work to do in my own character.

Moms and Dads, we live in a very busy world today. I want to challenge you to take time to be with your children, not on your phones, not on the computers, but really invest one on one time with your children. It will not only draw them close to their Lord Jesus as you train them up, but it will soften and strengthen your own character. May this quote encourage you today.

jessica-rockowitz-5NLCaz2wJXE-unsplash

Noble Traits are Developed in Caring for Children. – I have a very tender interest in all children, for I became a sufferer at a very early age. I have taken many children to care for, and I have always felt that association with the simplicity of childhood was a great blessing to me….

The sympathy, forbearance, and love required in dealing with children would be a blessing in any household. They would soften and subdue set traits of character in those who need to be more cheerful and restful. The presence of a child in a home sweetens and refines. A child brought up in the fear of the Lord is a blessing.

Care and affection for dependent children removes the roughness from our natures, makes us tender and sympathetic, and has an influence to develop the nobler elements of our character.
The Adventist Home, p. 160b

Motivation Monday

Encourage a Happy Frame of Mind—If there is anyone who should be continually grateful, it is the Christian. If there is anyone who enjoys happiness, even in this life, it is the faithful follower of Jesus Christ. It is the duty of God’s children to be cheerful. They should encourage a happy frame of mind. God cannot be glorified by His children living continually under a cloud and casting a shadow wherever they go. The Christian should cast sunshine instead of a shadow….

Child Guidance  p.147

Prayer Thoughts

Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effective fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much. James 5:16

A persons character is displayed in the home, where those closest see the every day in and out actions flowing out from the heart and mind. Observation can reveal whether prayer is an integral part of a persons life.  One praying family member in a home can bring sunshine and promote a pleasant atmosphere. The confession of a wrong deed is not easy, unless prayer is a fundamental  part of the individual. True repentance and confession comes from a heart that are accustomed to prayer.

Parents have a responsibility to model a connection with Jesus in their personal prayer time.  Children should see them in prayer, hear them in prayer, and be invited to enter into prayer during  family prayer time.

“Prayer is the opening of the heart to God as to a friend. Not that it is necessary in order to make known to God what we are, but in order to enable us to receive Him. Prayer does not bring God down to us, but brings us up to Him.

When Jesus was upon the earth, He taught His disciples how to pray. He directed them to present their daily needs before God, and to cast all their care upon Him. And the assurance He gave them that their petitions should be heard, is assurance also to us.

Why should the sons and daughters of God be reluctant to pray, when prayer is the key in the hand of faith to unlock heaven’s storehouse, where are treasured the boundless resources of Omnipotence?” SC ch. 11

What A Friend We Have in Jesus

What a friend we have in Jesus,

All our sins and griefs to bear;

What a privilege to carry,

Everything to God in prayer!

Oh what peace we often forfeit,

Oh what needless pain we bear,

All because we do not carry

Everything to God in prayer.

Have we trials and temptations?

Is there trouble anywhere?

We should never be discouraged;

Take it to the Lord in prayer!

Can we find a friend so faithful?

Who will all our sorrows share?

Jesus knows our every weakness;

Take it to the Lord in prayer!

Are we weak and heavy laden,

Cumbered with a load of care?

Precious Savior still our refuge,

Take it to the Lord in prayer!

Do thy friends despise forsake thee?

Take it to the Lord in prayer!

In His arms He’ll take and shield thee,

Thou wilt find a solace there.

by Joseph Scriven 1855

 

To Train Our Thoughts

Train up a child in the way he should go and when he is old, he will not depart from it.

Proverbs 22:6

I have known this text for many years.   Recently the conviction has come to my heart of the need to train my thoughts. It is also my duty to train my children on  how to control their thoughts.

Thoughts shape our behavior, our attitudes, and our words. What we think eventually comes out through the mouth or in our actions .This ultimately reveals our character and our eternal destiny is affected. Thought processes begin in our brain. In private. Where no one else can visit.  But God can see. He knows what is there.

For as he thinks in his heart, so is he. Proverbs 23:7

This is why it is so very important to guard our thoughts.  To think positive, uplifting thoughts.  To keep our minds pure so the Holy Spirits’  prompting can be heard. It is important to openly discuss this process with our children, and for them to see us conquering our own negative thought tendencies.

Negative thoughts can be very destructive to any relationship, including our most important  relationship with God. Satan would  like to hijack our thoughts and keep the negative thinking cycle going.

Finally brethren whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is anything praiseworthy- meditate on these things. Philippians 4:8

For my family I have developed  some strategies to implement in the battle to capture and retrain our thoughts.

1.Ask for divine help

2.Memorize scripture promises that apply, and recite them periodically.

3.Hold one another accountable

I encourage you to contemplate what you can do for your family to build ‘right thinking’ habits.

And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God. Romans 12:2

For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself  against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ. 2 Corinthians 10:4,5

May the words of our mouths and the meditation of our hearts be acceptable in Thy sight, oh Lord, my strength and my redeemer. Psalms 19:14