sibling-rivalry

How to Handle Sibling-Rivalry with Grace

June 23, 2018
Sibling-Rivalry

Sibling-rivalry can disrupt the peace in your home and set your teeth on edge. There were times I would hear my kids argue or scream and I would roll my eyes. Truly, I wanted to hide because it’s so hard to know the real culprit. Besides most of their squabbles had not basis. One child would not want his sibling to look out his window. What a crime! Of course, I knew I had to enforce property rights. That’s in scripture. Someone can’t steal what you own and if they borrow, they need to ask first. And I also spoke up when I felt one child attacked another’s dignity. That’s never good. However, it was easy for me to get tired, to wish I could keep reading my book, or stay on the couch rather than engage.

And truly many of those childhood disagreements fade over time, especially if you teach Scripture. I love that verse in Psalm 31 that says “the teaching of kindness is on her [mom’s] lips.” Children don’t start off with manners and respect. We must teach that.

However, I knew one family that had a child struggling with a disability. Several of the other kids ridiculed and treated him badly. The family claimed to be Christian, but somehow that didn’t change the torment, and I believe it should have. Pray that sibling-rivalry stays in childhood. In this case, that did not happen, and the siblings carried the hatred into adulthood. That separated the family, and they remained that way.

As we raise our kids we are trying to teach them godly living. It’s so important. Teach them to love each other and to forgive.

Our families are so important to us, yet things happen that we cannot change. It breaks our hearts, but it happens.

My guest today is Julie Cantrell. She has written Perennials, a story about a family with that same brokenness.

Learn more about Julie here.

Husband

Twelve Ways to Experience More With Your Husband

June 15, 2018
Husband

Do you ever wish your husband adored you like he used to?

I recall being a newly wed, and I felt special. I wanted to spend every moment with my husband, and I have to admit I was jealous when he did anything that didn’t include me.

Once we had children things changed, and I got busier. That new baby pushes everything out of the way, including older children. However, I put a lot of effort into staying in touch because God intended marriage to last a lifetime.  So many things stand in the way of that, but all of us long for that loving relationship.

My parents were married for almost fifty-six years when my mother passed away. The doctor, and the nursing staff who cared for Mama enjoyed watching their romance even during her last illness.

With my nursing background, I love to watch a program on Netflix called Forensics. I have to admit, I’m very surprised every time someone dies in unusual circumstances, the police suspect the spouse, even when they claim to be close. Police typically ask people outside the family how the couple got along rather than just asking the remaining spouse. According to the stories they tell, the husband or wife often choose murder.

That makes me sad. The fact that people don’t stay married hurts everyone. Divorce rips husband and wife apart, but the kids suffer for so many reasons too.  I would love to see that change. I would like to see more marriages like my parents.

Cindi McMenamin is my guest. After much research, she wrote Twelve Ways to Have More with Your Husband. Men think so differently, and you’ll find her tips useful. You may find her online here.

Israel

Vital Lessons From Our Trip to Israel

June 8, 2018
Israel
Jesus was a Jew from Israel.
This June, I am asking you to go on a journey with me as I share about my trip to Israel. Let me read you a verse that came to life there.
I have recently returned from Israel, and I want to share what I learned while I was there. Under normal circumstances, I would have read that verse and focused on the death of Josiah. However, during my trip there, our guide took us to Megiddo, which sits as a very important pass in Mt Carmel. Archaeologist document twenty-six different civilization have had fortresses there. So it’s a very important spot.
However, when I stood at Megiddo and looked around, I saw rock, old castles, and I wasn’t impressed. I had to go back to the Bible and research to discover the incredible importance of this city I had never heard of.
In fact in this passage, the Assyrian king had just died. in his absence his ally, Egypt and Pharaoh Neco was gaining dominance. Megiddo, that crazy name I don’t recall ever reading, sat in a very important place on the way to Damascus. Gaining Megiddo would give him access from Egypt to Damascus. Josiah hoped to prevent that but he died in battle.
 Kings 23:29 In his days Pharaoh Neco king of Egypt went up to the king of Assyria to the river Euphrates. King Josiah went to meet him, and Pharaoh Neco killed him at Megiddo, as soon as he saw him.
This taught me a very important lesson, one that you will learn when you visit there. Every city, every valley the Bible names is actually there. Skeptics will often claim they found no evidence of this city or that Biblical story, but someone digs and finds it.
I loved the town of Magdala, which was the home of Mary Magdalene. I don’t recall ever seeing that name either, but archeologists unearthed a first century synagogue there. We know Jesus preached there. How exciting to see the very stones he walked on.
I learned first hand what I already believed. The Bible is history, and the places real. We can trust the word of God because pleaces we overlook as we read the Bible. They are actdually there.
My husband joins me today to share some of his impressions. Welcome Ray.
Learn more about Israel here.
Prayer

How to Have a Sustaining Prayer Life

June 1, 2018
Prayer

Prayer: when you think back to the Garden of Eden, you remember Adam and Eve walked with God in the cool of the day. God made us to spend time with him, to enjoy him. Interacting with him sustains us. Sin broke that fellowship. When we don’t have friendship with God, we find our lives empty of meaning. However, Christ came to restore what our sinfulness ruined. When he died on the cross for our sins, God ripped the veil in the temple that separated the holy place from the Holy of Holies. That event signified we have access to God now.  And Scripture commands us to pray.

I find prayer a privilege and a chore. Over the years, I have had days I could pray and pray and I felt God was leaning forward on his throne, listening. Those moments I treasure. However, at other times, I would pray and sense a brick wall or I feel like I am reading off my grocery list. I hate that.  All this is reading my feelings into prayer, but I know God has responded. I have a sense of touching my creator’s heart.

I’ve never liked making phone calls, but the moment I decide to pray, I have sudden urges to make phone calls or do a long list of chores. Now. I find it especially hard to pray when I am asking for something good, something commendable, and I cannot see God moving.

I Thessalonians 5:17 says Pray without ceasing. God wants us to pray regularly and all the time. Jesus prayed for hours while he was on earth, and he even fasted and prayed before he started his earthly ministry. He wanted to commune with the father, and I want that too.

Today I have Bob Hostetler to share with us about prayer. He has written about it and can offer guidance from his experiences and study. Learn more about Bob here.

Grieve

If You Don’t Grieve your Loved One Now, You Will Hate Yourself Later

May 25, 2018
Grieve

No one likes to grieve, but it’s important.

I will never forget that dreadful phone call. Daddy had been sick, but he had improved. The nursing staff moved him to a nursing home for recovery. I knew his health was fragile, but I assumed I had more time.

The nurse on the phone said, “Your father is worse. Do you want to see him?”

“Yes.” Of course. What else could I say?

I assumed I might not see him again, and so my husband drove as fast as he could, but traffic was heavy that Sunday night.  When I reached his floor, I saw his room mate at the front desk, and that alarmed  Nurses don’t move people there for no reason. I rushed to Dad’s room and pulled aside the curtain around his bed. When I looked into his face, his blue eyes stared at nothing. He was dead.

I felt a huge empty spot in my soul. This was my last parent. It was as if I lost Mom all over again because they were both gone now.  I was an orphan. Furthermore, I had lost a lot over the past four years. It wasn’t long before I descended into depression as a grieved the many things I lost.

I knew he was with the Lord, that was not the problem. I had so many things to greive, and grieving takes time.

I’ll never forget that year at Christmas. Some lady told me I would be okay once all my children arrived from school. Somehow that wasn’t much comfort.

 

Americans do not grieve well.

The Bible says “for us not to grieve like the others around us that have no hope.”  It doesn’t mean we won’t grieve.

 

My guest is Gail Porter who is going to share some thoughts about grieving.

Find Gail here.

Satan

Warning: Satan Wants to Devour You

May 18, 2018
Satan

We must watch out for our mortal enemy. He is named Satan. Here are some tips on differentiating between what God does and what Satan does:

Two forces wield power in the universe: God made the world and everything in it. Satan is the prince of the power of the air, and he stands against God and his people. He uses his powers for evil.

God offers reconciliation through Christ, and He wants to connect you with people. Those who come to Jesus have a longing for those people they isolated because of their sin. On the other hand, Satan wants to separate people and inspire hate.

The presence of God overwhelms us with love and warmth, but the devil fills us with fear and self-doubt.

God leads us beside still waters and restores our soul. The evil one seeks to burn us out and destroy our peace of mind. He delights in disorder and worry.

I Peter 5:8 says, “Be of sober spirit, be on the alert. Your adversary, Satan, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.”

We don’t want to give Satan an opportunity by holding onto anger and bitterness.

If we are doing anything for God or if we choose to become serious Christians, he opposes everything we do. He loves threatening death and encouraging suicide. He delights in telling us we are worthless and nothing we do matters.

Today Amarilys Rassler is my guest. She shares her grandparents involvement in the occult, and her choice to get involved too. You Amarilys find online here.

Mother's Day

Mother’s Day: Secrets to Being a Great Mom

May 11, 2018

This weekend we celebrate Mother’s Day. Lot’s of kids are buying presents, and many of you might be purchasing flowers or gifts.

As I approach Mother’s Day, I always remember how difficult it is to be a mom. I took psychology in college and was horrified by the blame hoisted on mothers. But we all know those early years formulate a child’s mind and temperament, so we cannot overestimate the value of good parenting.

However mothers get no training!

A doctor goes to school for years. First, he or she has premed and then medical school. Then he applies to be an intern for at least a year before he can move on to being a resident. During this time he hones his skills for whatever specialty he or she decides on. A lot of hard work and several years pass before he can offer his services.

Mothers get no training and yet we impact our children far more than a doctor.  People used to say, The Hand that Rocks the cradle rules the world.

 

Deuteronomy 6:7  Gives strong encouragement to both mothers and fathers: You shall teach them [God’s words] diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise.

My husband and I spent a lot of time considering how we would parent, using both the Scripture and prayer. Even then, we apologized to our oldest daughter since we tried out all our ideas on her. We truly wanted to do a good job.

There’s a passage in Titus that talks about older women teaching younger women how to be good wives and mothers. God knew experienced mothers had guidance to pass along.’

Today we have an experienced mother of three, Angela Breidenbach to give us some guidance from her experience and history.

Learn more about Angela here.

 

 

Broken

If You are Broken, God Can Still Use You

May 4, 2018
Broken

A broken teapot never works, even if you glue it together again. So sad!

My family loves tea, and I have a myriad of teapots. A few of them are two-cup teapots since I like to make tea for individuals, but most of them are large six-cups pots.

After my mum died, I was at work in the kitchen and someone knocked on the door. The person rapped out a particular pattern that sounded exactly like what my mother used to do when she came for a visit. I froze. My only thought was, “She’s dead.”

I was so rattled that I dropped the dish i was holding and crushed a pretty floral teapot. I looked at the one million pieces and wanted to cry. The person who knocked made a delivery and left, yet that shock I felt cause me to lose one of my special teapots.

Every time I mess up, I feel like that broken teapot. Useless. God wants us to be holy and to live like him, but we still exist on earth amongst sinners. How on earth can we do that and still please God. Can God use a broken person? A teapot needs to be discarded, but what about a person?

Today Tina Yeager is my guest. She is a counselor and life coach, and I am always delighted to have her with me.

You can find Tina here.

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