Category : Devotion of the Week
Category : Devotion of the Week
Today’s guest blogger is Lori Wildenberg. Lori, a mom of four and licensed parent and family educator, is passionate about meeting moms and dads where they are and helping them get where they want to go in their parenting. Lori and her ministry partner, Becky Danielson, are co-founders of 1 Corinthians 13 Parenting. (http://www.1Corinthians13Parenting.com).Together they have written three parenting books including the just released, Raising Little Kids with Big Love. It can be found on Amazon or B&N . You can connect with Lori on her websites: loriwildenberg.com or 1Corinthians13Parenting.com. She is available for event speaking and individual parent consulting.
So God created man in his own image.
Genesis 1: 27
So…why do kids act the way they do?
It’s in their DNA.
Think about it. We are all created in God’s image. We are rational, emotional, relational, volitional, and spiritual.
This creates a genuine need for respect (rational); joy, fun (emotional); love and belonging (relational); freedom (volitional); and spiritual fulfillment (spiritual).
We can observe our children and discover which image element needs tending.
Listen to what your child or young person is saying:
“I’m not a baby…” translation: I’m growing up, I need more responsibility.
“Let’s go to the park…”translation: Let’s have some fun.
“Will you play with me?” translation: I miss you. I need time with you.
“You never let me….” translation: I need some freedom.
“Do we eat in heaven?” translation: I need to know more about God.
What our kids say gives us great insight into their character development and true needs. Listening to their heart, lets us know how to pray for, parent, train, and interact with our kids.
That’s the thing about parenting, isn’t it? It is fluid so we must pay attention.
And…it is always about love.
If you are the parent or grandparent of a toddler to eight-year-old and would like to know how to raise your child with the love Jesus shows, “Love is patient, love is kind…” read Raising Little Kids with Big Love. It contains easily applicable ways to live out the attributes of love as described in 1 Corinthians 13.
We don’t just want to get our kids to behave. We want to go beyond that and develop their heart and character.
Like the rest of the world, today I am shocked by the death of superstar actor and comedian, Robin Williams. He was one of the best in the business because of his amazingly quick wit and his ability to cross over from comedy to drama and back to comedy. He could make us laugh, and two minutes later, make us cry.
When citing memorable Robin Williams movies, Dead Poets Society, Mrs. Doubtfire, and Good Will Hunting are often remembered. But one movie that comes to my mind is “Awakenings,” starring Williams and Robert DeNiro. It was about victims of an encephalitis epidemic who had been catatonic for decades. However, a new drug was invented, reviving them from their slumber temporarily. Williams played Dr. Malcolm Sayer who administered the drug, and DeNiro’s character was Leonard Lowe, one of the patients who woke up after decades of unending sleep. I found an interesting piece of dialogue from the movie, in light of the tragedy about Williams:
Leonard Lowe: Read the newspaper. What does it say? All bad. It’s all bad. People have forgotten what life is all about. They’ve forgotten what it is to be alive. They need to be reminded. They need to be reminded of what they have, and what they can lose. What I feel is the joy of life, the gift of life, the freedom of life, the wonderment of life!
Dr. Sayer: I’m sorry, if you were right, I would agree with you.
Despite all his fame, Robin Williams had apparently lost the joy and wonderment of life and needed to be reminded about it. Last night, in an old interview talking about the death of comedian, John Belushi, Williams said if the strong Belushi could let life take him down, then it could happen to anyone.
Williams is correct. It could happen to you and me, our loved ones or our neighbor, but as Christians, we need to be reminded that we have hope.
We have hope that God will get us through the trials.
We have hope that our difficulties are just temporary.
We have hope that Jesus is who he said he was.
We have hope that through faith in Jesus we have an eternal home where our tears will be dried and our illnesses healed.
A recent sermon series at our church was entitled “Everything rides on hope.” That’s the truth. If we didn’t have hope, what would we have? This past week, two friends from my Sunday school class buried their sons. I am sure they are clinging to the hope they have in Christ as they walk through a very dark valley. It all rides on hope.
The apostle Peter, who had his share of persecution, encourages us to claim hope: “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade. This inheritance is kept in heaven for you, who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time. In all this you greatly rejoice., though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials” (1 Peter 1:3-7).
What trial are you going through right now? Is your hope waning? Hold on tight to the promises you receive in Christ. It’s only through the power of the Holy Spirit we can survive the difficulties of this world.
“Why my soul, are you downcast? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God” (Psalm 42:11). (LBW)
“Wealth exploding secret,” “Restore your hair-just four weeks,” “Laser fungus removal.” Every day I receive spam like this and more. It clutters up my phone and fills up my email so when I receive the unwanted correspondence, I have to “unsubscribe.”
Our thoughts can be like Spam as well.
Often times there are so many unhealthy thoughts that clutter up our mind’s inbox, we can’t weed through the bad thoughts to find the good.
How do we overcome the Spam in our mind?
Just like we have to intentionally unsubscribe to spam email, we have to intentionally unsubscribe to the Spam thoughts. Proverbs 23:7 says, “For as he thinks in his heart, so is he.” (KJV) Sometimes the Spam thoughts that fill up our brains can change the way we carry ourselves, the way we treat others, and can steal our joy.
So when we have spam thoughts like:
“I’m not loved.” Unsubscribe.
“I’m not appreciated.” Unsubscribe.
“I have no purpose.” Unsubscribe.
We also have to filter our Spam through the Word of God. Remember Ephesians 3:17-19: “And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.”
God says we are loved and appreciated, and Spam thoughts have no place in the mind of a beloved child of God.
In Philippians 4:8, scripture also says we should think about whatever is true, noble, right, pure, lovely or admirable.
We need to ask ourselves each time Spam enters our minds. Is it right? Is it lovely? Is it admirable? Is it real or perceived? If it’s perceived, let’s ask God to help us give the person or situation troubling us, the benefit of the doubt. We can toss and turn at night when we’ve perceived that someone has wronged us.
What Spam thoughts do you need to get rid of? Be intentional. Take them one by one and unsubscribe. Clean up the negative clutter, then the positive will have more room to breathe in our inbox. The result will be a happier, more loving, and content you. (LBW)
Today’s Guest Blogger is Barbara Calloway. Barbara is a conference speaker and host, revivalist, Psalmist, and mentor, She does it all with excitement and inspiration as an end time voice sent by God to proclaim the gospel in a relevant and passionate way. The evidence of Gods power is ever present in her life with results of miracles, signs and wonders.
She is known to be straightforward, yet filled with compassion for God’s people believing that every encounter in God’s presence should leave you changed and charged to be all that He intends for you to be. She comes from a strong lineage of pastors and ministers and is a third generation minister the eldest daughter of the late Pastor Edward Calloway and Missionary Jacquelyn Calloway. Although she travels extensively, she is a member of The New Covenant Fellowship Church of McKinney under the dynamic leadership of Pastors Derrick and Ilya Golden.
Her prize possession is her gifted children, Destinee and Jadell.
On any given week, I get the chance to speak to hundreds of women, whether they join my 5am prayer call or attend a service where I’m ministering the word of God. Women who are beautiful on the outside, but broken on the inside, married but somewhat unfulfilled, singles who are not satisfied with being alone. And then there are other women that I meet whose lives are totally together; they have a successful marriage, children are excelling, business is booming and things couldn’t be better, but all these women have something in common. They worry too much, and pray too little.
I love the story of Hannah in I Samuel 1:1-20 because it shows us the picture of every woman. Hannah was married, and pretty well off but she was still miserable because she couldn’t have a child. Having a child was probably her greatest desire. Of course, having that child was wrapped up in her fulfilling her purpose. Every year, she, her husband and his other wife, Peninnah, went to the temple to worship and offer sacrifice, and Hannah couldn’t really enjoy her time there because she was worrying too much and praying too little.
One year, Hannah finally came to her senses, and decided she would not worry that year but would instead go to the temple and pray, telling God exactly what she wanted from Him and leaving it there. Her act of prayer and worship caused God to remember her ,nd grant her the desire of her heart (vs. 19).
As women it’s often easier to worry about situations first, and then pray later, especially when it comes to fulfilling our purpose. Yes, I’ll be the first to admit that I worry about my children first before I release them to God in prayer. I worry about ministry ideas, plans and events before I release them to God. I think it’s pretty safe to say that we all do this, but how is it helping us? We should always pray first and leave the rest up to God.
Philippians 4:6-7 says “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”
Something powerful happens when we as women pray; I believe that we get God’s attention in a different kind of way, when he hears the cries of his daughters, he responds.
Starting today, the next time worry creeps into your mind, resist it, take a deep breath and pray this prayer: “Father God, I come to you right now in this moment feeling overwhelmed and even afraid, but in this moment I also know that you are in control of all things and you have the power to fix any problem that I’m facing, so I surrender it to you and I say, let your will be done in my life. I resist worry and I accept your peace, I resist fear, and I accept faith. I resist anxiety, and I accept serenity in my mind, body and soul. In Jesus’ name, Amen”.
If you’re going to worry about it, pray about it, and if you’re going to pray about it, don’t worry about it. Remember God is in control!
“’For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.”’ (Jeremiah 29:11-14)
There it was. Mount Ranier. I had a perfect view of the Washington landmark from my airplane window. It was the beginning of another adventure to a place I’d longed to go to since seeing the movie, Sleepless in Seattle. Why did it take me so long? I can’t answer that, except to say God’s timing is not my timing. But thankfully, I believe this is one of those instances where God gave me one of the desires of my heart. (Psalm 37:3-4)
Do you love to travel?
I think I missed my calling as a television travel show reporter. I love to discover new places, especially ones located near a body of water. In this case, the body of water was the Puget Sound, and it nestled itself right up against the walls of my hotel.
I was woken up each morning by the sound of seagulls flying by my window and the loud foghorns of the various barges passing through the waters. They started their day early! We stayed at the Edgewater Hotel, famous because the Beatles once graced its presence. I can see why they liked it. Every morning I’d have breakfast at a table with an incredible view, and my gaze got lost in the crystal blue waves of the Sound. Sometimes I imagined myself on one of the cruise ships passing by, headed to a mysterious island.
The three days went by way too fast and there were many things I did not see and do. But reflecting back on scenic Seattle as I make my return to Texas, I asked the Lord to show me where he was each day of the trip, and what I needed to learn from my most recent journey.
I realized how much God loved me to create an opportunity to go to a place I’d longed to visit. One of my closest friends wanted a traveling companion to the area and offered to pay for my meals if I would accompany her. My sweet husband agreed to pay for airfare and hotel, and I was off. I am grateful for a dream realized, and give all the credit to God for putting it together.
God knows I am awestruck by his handiwork, and the Seattle area is another example of his majestic creation. He led me to an area with lush green landscapes, mammoth Evergreen trees, mountain ranges nearby, and the Puget Sound and Lake Union beckoning me closer. Breathtaking!
One of my favorite activities was taking a “Duck Tour” around the streets of Seattle and Lake Union. We rode in an amphibious vehicle used in World War II, and were entertained by a comedic tour guide. I may be biased, but I think we had the best tour guide in the fleet. The 90-minute ride started off with a land tour, then wrapped up with a spin around the lake, where we admired the view from the water.
One of my goals while on the tour was to see the houseboat used for the movie, Sleepless in Seattle. There it was! My mind wandered back to the scenes featuring Tom Hanks in the movie. The idea of living on a houseboat was appealing until I learned about the million dollar price tags.
As a special bonus, the Blue Angels flew over our heads several times. They were there for a special weekend in Seattle, “Sea Fair” and were practicing at the exact time we were on the Duck Tour.
I was the recipient of God’s generosity and hospitality through his children. My traveling buddy and great friend, Deb, has the spiritual gift of giving. Not only did she treat me, and others to fabulous meals, but she also blessed many of the Naval soldiers touring Seattle during Sea Fair. I watched her slip countless soldiers a $20 bill, thanking them for their service. I was amazed at her kindness and hope I learn to do the same.
I was also blessed by the hospitality of a friend who lives in West Seattle. In the past year, I met Kemala a couple of times when she was in Texas visiting our mutual friend, and told her I’d give her a call if I ever made it to Seattle. I never dreamed I’d be calling her within the year. Kemala was between jobs when we arrived in town, and she graciously drove us around Seattle, showing us some places and restaurants only the locals would know about. Kemala stuck with us all three days in the area. The greatest blessing I received was praying with Kemala about a job she wanted then watching her receive a call the same day telling her she had landed the position. Now that was special!
While I always love traveling to new places, I always appreciate my family when I am gone. Being away always causes me to reflect on my life, the twists and turns it has taken, and I see how God’s hand has directed me over the years. While I enjoy getting away at times, I also look forward to returning home to my familiar digs. Do you feel that way when you travel?
I carried two of our new books with me to Seattle (If I Only Had…), hoping God would show me who to give them to along the way. As it turned out, I gave one to my cab driver on the way back to the airport. He had a delightful personality, and an infectious smile. I then handed one to the schoolteacher sitting by me on the plane ride to Texas. After such a wonderful time, I felt compelled to give something back, and hope the books will make some impact.
Today I am thankful for the exciting travel the Lord provided this year. I am hopeful to discover another new place next year and have put in my request. Lord, how does Hilton Head sound? (LBW)