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Friday, May 25, 2018

Family Friday: Thank you, Teacher!

Thank you, Teacher!
          I am so thankful for my children’s teachers!  The teachers at our school are Godly adults who care about our children and take time to invest in their lives.  My children can look to these teachers as examples to follow in work ethic and Godly principles.  We are definitely blessed with a terrific Christian school.
          Often we parents are thankful for our children’s teachers but may not express it because we think it may sound cliché.  Teachers definitely appreciate positive feedback from the parents!  I know, because I am a teacher as well as a parent.  Notes or even texts can mean so much to a teacher who is putting much time and effort into molding young minds.  Receiving gifts is always nice, but hearing of a parent’s appreciation is so encouraging! 
          If you really enjoy giving gifts, then by all means be a blessing.  However, gifts do not have to be expensive.  Home baked goodies go a long way and many people enjoy receiving them J.  Dollar stores often carry items a teacher might enjoy or use in their class. Gift cards are always an option if you are not sure what to give. 
          Whatever way you decide to thank your children’s teachers at the end of the year, put some thought into it.  Without the teachers, our children would not be able to excel in life or even get a good start.  I am so thankful for the solid foundation my children received in school.  Praise God for the teachers!

Friday, March 30, 2018

Family Friday: Easter Fun

            Holidays are fun!  Excitement builds as we anticipate days off from school, possible vacations, family time, or any other number of things we get to do.  This is a great time to focus on some family time and to plan an activity or two together. Sadly, the world has commercialized Easter, and sometimes we forgo any celebration in order to help preserve the sacredness of this special day.  However, we can still do special things that pertain to Easter without making our children concentrate on bunnies and candy.
            Think of things that are possibly associated with Easter, and put a spiritual application to them.  Decorating eggs can remind us to be transformed to the image of Christ.  Baby bunnies remind us that we need to grow in Christ instead of remain baby Christians.  Candy reminds us of the sweetness of His love for us.  Easter baskets remind us to think of others and to be a blessing to our family members.  Tiny chicks remind us of the new life Christ brings.  The possibilities are endless!
            Yes, we need to make sure our children don’t think of Easter the same way the world thinks, but that doesn’t mean that we cannot have any fun traditions associated with it.  Have an egg or candy hunt in your yard, put inexpensive gifts and a little candy in Easter baskets, dye eggs, go shopping for new clothes if God has blessed you with the money to do so, and have fun at Easter! 

Friday, March 9, 2018

Monday's Message: Softly and Tenderly

Will L. Thompson was born at East Liverpool, Ohio. His father, Josiah Thompson, was a member of the Ohio State Legislature.
       Young Thompson attended the Boston Music School and did additional musical study in Germany. After a very successful career of writing secular music, Thompson turned his talents to writing gospel hymns.
       His business earned him a sizable income in his lifetime, yet he was always known as a kind, quiet and unassuming Christian gentleman, greatly loved and admired by his associates.
       Thompson was also known for his travels by horse and buggy from one small community to another throughout Ohio singing his songs to people everywhere.
       This particular hymn was one of D.L. Moody’s favorites. It is said that on his deathbed while being visited by Mr. Thompson, Moody feebly whispered:
       “Will, I would rather have written ‘Softly and Tenderly’ than anything I have been able to do in my whole life.”
       This hymn was widely used as an invitation hymn in the great evangelistic meetings conducted by Moody and Sankey throughout Great Britain and in America.

Softly and Tenderly

(1) Softly and tenderly Jesus is calling,
Calling for you and for me;
See on the portals He’s waiting and watching,
Watching for you and for me.
CHORUS:  Come home, come home,
Ye who are weary, come home;
Earnestly, tenderly, Jesus is calling-
Calling, "O sinner, come home!"
(2) Why should we linger when Jesus is pleading,
Pleading for you and for me?
Why should we wait, then, and heed not His mercies,
Mercies for you and for me?
(3) O for the wonderful love He has promised,
Promised for you and for me;
Tho' we have sinnned He has mercy and pardon,
pardon for you and for me.

Family Friday: Follow Me

Follow Me

          Everyone is a teacher!  I don’t mean professionally, but we are all teaching somebody something whether we realize it or not.  There is at least one person who copies your actions, dress, reactions, manner of speaking, etc., because that person wants to be like you.
          Some days that is a bit of a scary thought!  Phillipians 3:17 is a good reminder that people are following our Christianity: “ Brethren, be followers together of me, and mark them which walk so as ye have us for an ensample.”  Is my Christianity worth following?  Do I give others a clear picture of Christ?  How about my home life?  Do I act one way at church, then act another way at home?  I am always supposed to exhibit the fruit of the Spirit, not just when I’m in public.  My children are the ones that are noticing my example the most often. 
          If you are a leader in any area, whether as a Sunday School teacher, bus worker, church musician, Junior Church worker, usher, greeter, or any other area, you have a great responsibility of maintaining a life of example.  If you are a parent, be the right example all the time, expecially at home.  May we be able to say to others, “Follow me, as I follow Christ.”

Friday, February 23, 2018

Family Friday: Training Future Spouses

            When listening to my class of small children play “house” at recess, I was struck with the wide variety of how they treated each other.  Some of the boys were so kind and thoughtful of the girls, and some were just rude.  Some of the girls let the boys make the decisions, and some just told the boys exactly what they thought of the ideas.  Children come up with the craziest things to say all on their own, but it could be that they are learning how to treat their future spouse by what they are observing at home.
            It has been said that girls often marry men like their dads, and boys often marry women like their mom.  That may be true to an extent, but perhaps the greater truth is that men treat their wives the way their mother was treated, and ladies treat their husband the way their father was treated.  Dads, your sons learn how to treat a lady from you!  Are your words and actions thoughtful and preferential, or are they selfish and demanding?  Moms, your daughters learn how to treat their husband from you!  Do you respond to your husband in love and submission, or do you assert your opinion and desires over his?
            Early training can help instill many of the qualities we look for in a spouse.  How you allow your children to treat each other is often training for how they will treat their spouse.  I know brothers and sisters do not always agree or get along!  Our job as parents is to help them learn to work through the disagreement and respond correctly to each other; this will help them learn to handle disagreements when they are married.
            This is by no means a study on teaching manners and kindness to children, but hopefully it will help someone think about training their children to treat their spouse correctly.  Children catch more from your actions than your words.  “Your walk  talks, and your talk  talks; but your walk  talks louder than your talk  talks.”

Friday, February 16, 2018

Family Friday: I Choose Love

I Choose Love
          Around this time of year, many people talk about love and its effects on people.  Cards with sweet sentiments are exchanged, and sometimes flowers are delivered to a loved one.  You may hear phrases such as “fall in love”, “can’t help loving you”, “a feeling bigger than both of us”, etc.  These ideas are romantic, but not necessarily true.
        Love is a choice!  True love does not depend on circumstance or receiver.  The greatest love comes from Christ who gave Himself to die for us that we might live for eternity.  If His love depended on circumstance, then He could have stopped before going to the cross.  If love depended on the receiver, then no one would ever be worthy of His love.  Christ demonstrated true love when He gave His all for those not doing anything to show love for Him.
        This should make us ponder our love for our spouses.  Our loving them should not depend on circumstances or receiver.  Life does not always present the best circumstances; choose to love anyway.  Our spouses are not always lovable; choose to love anyway.  Besides, we are not always loveable, either! 
        Of course there are things you can do for each other to strengthen your relationship.  You should invest time, effort, and even money into each other as often as you can.  Cards and gifts are a tangible way to help you express your love.  However, do not depend on these things to keep you loving each other.  Realize it is a choice to love, then choose love every day.