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Secrets to Loving Your Husband

June 14, 2019
Love Your Husband

Father’s day has arrived again, and sometimes I wonder if merchants and card companies created these events so in order to promote sales.  My family already celebrates each person’s birthday, and Christmas, so another occasion seems excessive. 

However, the Bible does tell children to honor their parents.  So early in our marriage, my husband and I decided the children would remember him on Father’s Day and me on Mother’s Day. That allowed them to learn creativity and thankfulness. The idea worked well.

However, the Bible tells wives to “respect their husbands” and in Titus it commands older ladies to”…encourage the younger women to love their husbands…” If we respect our husband, we love him.

We all know men think differently. When I get upset, I want my husband to help me process my emotions rather than fix the problem. So, what’s the secret to love our husbands as God commands? I’ve asked my husband to answer that. Ray Simmons is a teaching elder at Grace Community Church. 


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Raising Boys

Raising Boys in a Digital World

June 7, 2019
Raising Boys

Raising boys. Despite what you hear in the media, boys and girls act differently from birth.

My oldest daughter had imaginary friends who lived in the vents, and she talked over her adventures with them. She also lined up her dolls and scolded them or taught them. Pretend cooking also fascinated her and she often offered me her concoctions.

My two girls came first, then I had a son. The noises he made amazed me. He loved to tell me his imaginary adventures where he overcame lions or bears. Once he had a couple brothers, they scuffled in the living room, sometimes knocking things over. 

My guest today is Jonathan McKee, and he writes and speaks honestly to young people about the consequences of their choices. Jonathan offers invaluable clues to parenting boys. 


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Make Friends

How to Make Friends and Keep Them

May 31, 2019
Make Friends

As a girl, I can remember wanting to connect with other children, but I didn’t know how. Once I sat down by a girl my age and told her my name. She told me hers, and we began to play. I thought that was easy, just exchange names and then you’re friends. However, as you get older the process gets more complex, and keeping friends presents a challenge in our busy world too.

When I make a friend, I want to stay in touch forever, but time and circumstances change. A friend in high school stopped writing me, and I tried so hard to faithfully send her letters anyhow. At one point, I mailed her a pretty card with an empty mail box to let her know I was sad not to hear from her, but she never responded. That broke my heart.

Kathy Collard Miller has just completed a Bible study on friendship and she offers guidance on making and keeping friends.


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Encouragement

Welcome June

May 31, 2019

Summer always reminds me of pool parties, pineapple smoothies. and memories! This month, let’s take the time to sit down and list major events in the lives of your children, including the good stuff, such as parties, graduations, awards, and even the not-so-good, such as illnesses and surgeries. Keep narratives of family events and highlight the occasions with photos of everyone present. In a few years, your children will find it much easier to construct their family’s history.

Today the internet presents us with many valuable resources for accessing family history. After using several new sites, I uncovered relatives several generations back, and I love adding photos and personal information that family members penned. I’ve learned I’m related to several patriots of the Revolutionary War, and I’ve found women named Cynthia on both sides of the family. 

Here are some sites to get you started:
Free sites: FamilySearch.org, Family Quest
Not free: Ancestry.com
Now, let’s kick off June with prayer. Ready?

Dear Father,  As summer approaches, hot weather, and vacations, keep us from taking a break from our faith. Keep us focused on others as we congratulate graduates and their parents who finished the job well. Help us to demonstrate godly respect for our spouses and others in authority. As the roses bloom, may your Spirit draw us ever closer to you. In the name of Jesus, the exalted name, Amen.

Lastly, let’s bloom in June. May the below Others Centered Calendar Challenge be an encouragement to you and those around you. My team and I pray these prompts get you one step closer toward our God, the Ultimate Father.

The Art of Living is #OthersCentered Calendar-June 2019-Cynthia L. Simmons

To download the calendar, click here.

Prayer

Understanding the Mystery of Prayer and God’s Promises

May 24, 2019
Mystery of Prayer

We know God answers prayer.

Hannah prayed so tearfully in the tabernacle that the high priest thought she was drunk. But she longed for a child because she couldn’t conceive. When she gave birth to Samuel, she dedicated him to God.

That happened before all the commands and prayer promises, yet because the patriarchs had sought out God with their concerns, she went to God.

I’ve seen answers to prayer too.

Mother mentioned she’d love to have carpet when I was young. So I prayed God would give us carpet. I didn’t expect to get carpet.

Later, my parents won a contest and received wall to wall carpet in their living room and dining room. Mom and Dad dubbed me their little prayer warrior.

Now I believe God was encouraging me to pray.

However, sometimes we pray  and long for an answer. A lot. And we pray for years. Nothing happens. At least, we can’t see anything. Discouragement can take over.

I’ve met people who say, “Prayer doesn’t change things, it changes you.”

Or “God answers. But it might be no.”

Let’s consider prayer promises in the New Testament:

Matthew 7:7 “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.

 Matthew 7:8 For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened.

 Matthew 7:9 Or which one of you, if his son asks him for bread, will give him a stone?

 Matthew 7:10 Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a serpent?

Matthew 7: 11 If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him!

My husband, Ray Simmons, a teaching elder at our church, offers answers.

The photo: Olive tree in the Garden of Gethsemene


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Adult Children

Developing Friendship with Your Adult Children

May 17, 2019
Adult Children

After spending a life time teaching them and guarding them from harm, moms must step aside and allow our adult children to make choices.

Moms of all ages should consider the future and plan for it. God gives incredible authority to parents, but only for a short time because kids can’t be held responsible.

We have to release them.

If I eat that extra cookie, I can forgive myself, but if my adult child does that, oh dear. Moms think of all the consequences.

He or she shouldn’t eat chocolate. Vegetables are better for you. Processed food!

But, with adult children, moms can’t say that anymore.

That’s so hard because we care, deeply. We gave up our life for that child, and we can’t forget that.

Once a mom, always a mom. We love our babies. (except they aren’t!)

Terri Gillespie, mother, author, and speaker, shares how she built a friendship with her former prodigal.


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mother

Tips on Being a Great Mother

May 10, 2019
Mother

All of us want to be a great mother.

I can remember watching John Boy and his family on TV. How I loved it when everyone said goodnight as the program ended.

And I wanted to be a wonderful mother, like John Boy’s.

However, when my first child was really small, she climbed into my lap and bit me. My first reaction was to slap her fact.

Then I felt terrible. I should have pushed her away and said something amazing like the TV program. I failed and felt terrible.

We need good advice and direction from others who had experience.

Peggy Sue Wells  is my guest today. She offers tips from experience and research.


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Caregiver

Help For Caregivers

May 3, 2019
caregiver

Caregiver.

Women tend toward nurturing, so we usually end up with the job,

However, when it comes to caring for family members, the job can be tough.

When my mother had her hysterectomy, I was an RN and worked at a local hospital. Mother scheduled her surgery so I could stay with her that first night so she wouldn’t be alone. I got off from work at eleven and went to stay with mother.

I tend to sleep soundly, and she had a hard time waking me up in the middle of the night so she could go to the bathroom.

I had already worked an eight-hour shift, yet I was embarrassed when my body didn’t want to get up at 2 a.m. I felt I had failed her.

If you are caring for a family member, there’s a lot involved, especially if you’re doing long-term care.

We all have hot spots, and emotional baggage from a lifetime of being in the same family. Add to that the fact that we save the worst of ourselves for the family, and you have a tough combination.

Years ago, all the nursing was done at home and that’s a good idea today since our culture no longer values life.

The whole discussion about quality of life can be an attempt to decide whose life is worthy to be lived.

For instance when my grandmother lived in a nursing home, the staff told the nurses a heart attack or stroke is not a medical emergency.

Since they knew acting quickly saved lives, they downgraded these catastrophic events to normal.

Because we want our loved to get the proper care, many of us become the caregiver.

But it’s hard, particularly if you have someone with dementia who asks the same question every twenty seconds.

In my father’s final illness, he became angry with family members, and no one likes to be yelled at.

Veteran caregiver, Deborah Keys shares tips for those considering the job and guidance for those already doing the work. Plus, learn how you can support and encourage someone in the trenches.


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Encouragement

Welcoming Shades of Green

April 30, 2019

Regardless your journey, how many are joyful because the clouds have washed away, the leaves are different shades of green, and the weather is comforting? Here at Heart of the Matter Ministries, we are glad indeed!
For this month, let’s work on discerning the Holy Spirit, more… which means, seeking Him for everything.

Let’s kick off May with prayer. Ready?

Dear Father,

By the grave-robbing, kingdom-advancing, Christ-exalting power of the Holy Spirit, restore us with the joy of Your incomparable salvation; renew our love for the beauty and freedom of holiness; and intensity our awareness and excitement about the occupied throne of heaven. In the name of Jesus, the exalted name, Amen.

The Art of Living is #OthersCentered Calendar-May 2019-Cynthia L. Simmons

To download the May 2019 Calendar Challenge, click here.

Deceit

Deception and the History of the Great Awakening

April 27, 2019
Deception

No one wants to be caught in web of deception.

When my children were little, we had met a couple in our church who targeted us to help them. They wanted to start a new church In our area, and they thought we’d make good partners.

Over a period of several months we considered working with them because we liked them. We shared the same faith, and God had gifted them in several areas.

However, we knew potential problems. We prayed about the situation and even talked to my husband’s mentor to get his opinion of the couple. God showed us some very glaring problems with the way this couple interacted with each other and with other believers.

We finally chose not to partner with them.

Here’s the key to avoiding deception.

I John 4:1 Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world.

This verse lets us know we can’t trust everybody just because they come to our church.

False prophets can be very charming and sneak in false doctrine after they have managed to get your trust. Not only do they teach things that aren’t true, they often abuse the flock.

Someone coined the statement, “The shepherd shouldn’t eat the sheep.” And I totally agree. So that means we must discern truth from falsehood.

Part of this discernment comes with maturing.

Hebrews 5:14 says “Sold food is for the mature, for those who because of practice have their senses trained to discern good from evil.”

Children can’t drink only milk. They need solid food to be healthy. The same is true of believers. When we rely on Scripture, we know God’s truth. We have to learn the word, so we have to tools to discern good from evil. Because  false teachers are very subtle and nice.

Today Rebecca Price Janney is my guest. She has written, Morning Glory, a story about the Great Awakening that came in colonial days.

Many people, however, didn’t like the preaching of the revivalists. And we are going to learn more about the time and find out how someone might avoid deception whenever they heard a new preacher.

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