How to Teach Your Children About Death

March 22, 2019

Death. Bring up death around adults and you can stop a conversation. Not a fun topic. But your kids might not understand.

For example, when I was about five, my great-aunt died. I had seen her at the nursing home and recall a gray-headed lady who wore a bun and had a huge mole on her neck.

After she died, my parents took me to the funeral home. I vividly recall standing at the casket, staring into her face. She didn’t breath and that made me feel like I was going to choke.

I attempted to walk away, but my dad grabbed my shoulders and made me stand there. Maybe I misunderstood what he was trying to do, but I couldn’t leave. That upset me.

Combine that with death-bed stories I heard from the pulpit, and I became afraid of death. Now I know I have mild-intermittent asthma. Whenever death became a topic, I felt out of breath.

Mom and Dad must have told our preacher, because when he arrived at the funeral home, he came to talk to me. A huge man with a booming voice, I hated being singled out for attention. Sheer terror filled my heart.

He told me he didn’t like going where death had been, but he went anyway.

My parents probably thought the pastor would help me. Nope. I wanted to escape.

My grandmother died later, and I refused to go. I recall seeing Mom and Dad exchange serious looks whenever the topic of death came up.

At six, I accepted Jesus as my savior because I didn’t want to go to hell, but that didn’t erase my fear of death. And I had no intentions of talking about how I felt.

Today Ginger Sanders came to share about her book, Firefly, which talks about how to explain death to children. She will give us tips on how to avoid what I experienced.


Suicide: Recovery for Families and Prevention for Victims

March 15, 2019

Suicide. It destroys a life but hurts everyone.

About ten years ago, a brilliant young lady attended our church. She had a charismatic personality, and people liked her.

For some reason, she had an obsession with suicide. She talked and wrote about it even though she came from a loving family and didn’t display signs of depression. Our youth pastor often talked to her about the topic and made her promise never to do it.

My husband and I went to a theater one night that young people attended. That night they had a open mike, and this young gal read a poem on suicide. It alarmed us, and my husband went to talk to her father. His dad already knew her tendency and shrugged it off.

However, one morning her parents found a suicide note. Shortly afterward, police found her body. Dead.

The mother and father were devastated. I remember the funeral. My husband felt guilty that he hadn’t been more adamant in his conversation with the father.

For weeks afterward various church members talked about the suicide. People that hardly knew her wished they had said something or done something to prevent her actions. In essence, the whole church grieved and experienced guilt.  That surprised me. But it was such a tragedy and we all regretted it.

God gives life, and he restores life. Sin brings death. And it’s Satan’s lie that death is better than life.

Heb 2:14 says

Therefore, since the children share in flesh and blood, He Himself likewise also partook of the same, that through death He might render powerless him who had the power of death, that is, the devil.

Christina Rose is my guest today, and she shares from her family’s experiences.


Guide Your Mind, Guard Your Heart, Grace Your Tongue

March 8, 2019

You can guard your heart by guiding your mind so that you grace your tongue.

Here’s an example.

One day I made a birthday cake and left it sitting on the counter. When I entered the kitchen an hour later, I saw my son sticking his finger in the icing.

His actions messed up the icing and potentially spread bacteria for anyone who ate a piece of cake

I doubt he thought before he did that, but that was very typical of his life. Impulsive, doing what felt good. That can create problems. We must guard our hearts.

I love history, and at one point when I was reading about an individual who lived in England. He said, “Nations don’t think. They feel.”

Right now I think that describes most people in our nation. Our emotions drive us. We give in when those feelings scream loudly enough.

Is that wise? That can lead us to getting drunk, eating poorly and clogging our veins with cholesterol, and being so rude we destroy relationships. So what’s the answer?

I believe the Bible tells us that. I Peter 2:11

Beloved, I urge you as aliens and strangers to abstain from fleshly lusts which wage war against the soul.

This verse actually says we can’t follow our urges. A dog has to bark, but God gives us the ability to choose something better because Jesus is our Lord.

Today I have Carol McLeod, and she has just completed. Guide your mind, Guard Your Heart, Grace Your Tongue.


Guidance for Moms Who Have Addicted Children

March 1, 2019

Addiction. What an ugly word. Yet our nation has more addiction than ever before. No one wants the problem.

But some of us face that nightmare anyway.

We mothers love our children and spend much of our lives raising them, and teaching, even to the point of organizing our lives around their activities. It’s a huge disappointment when one becomes difficult or strays. Addiction creates so much pain for everyone.

All of us know a youngster can disobey, but you can set up boundaries and discipline.

However, when a child passes that magic spot called majority, it’s a different story. You have no control over an adult. And that can be very frustrating, especially if your child becomes addicted. Heartbreaking!

A mother once said, “If I had left him on the streets after he was born, I wouldn’t be so upset. But I worked day and night. And this is what I get. If I had to do it over, I would raise dogs.”

Now understand that’s a very unhappy mother. But you understand the sorry and the helplessness she felt.

So what is a mother to do?

For those of us who don’t have a child like this, we want to minister to them as a vital part of the body of Christ.

Today I have Sharron Cosby. Her son battled addiction for years. She wrote Praying for Your Addicted Loved One 90/90.


Welcome March 2019

March 1, 2019

As the month of March presses on, we are excited for what is to come in 2019. 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. And of course, let’s pray together to welcome March…

Dear Father, I am distressed when the world exalts evil and wicked schemes succeed. I pray for your righteousness to prevail instead, and for men to return to Truth. Make me light in darkness. Keep reminding me that you are faithful and your justice will succeed. In the name of Jesus we pray, Amen.

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

To download the March 2019 Calendar Challenge, click here.


You Can Experience Joy in All Seasons

February 22, 2019

We all want joy, and I have to admit, I haven’t always had it.

I go to an exercise class a couple day a week. At the end of the class, the teacher will thank us for coming and remind us of the other classes she teaches. Right before she dismisses us, she’ll say, “I’ll be here Monday at 8:30 and we’ll do this all over again.”

I have enough melancholy in my personality that I’ve always found routines a little boring, even when I was a young girl. Think about it. You get up in the morning, dress, go to school or in some cases go to work, come home, eat dinner and go to bed. But the rub is, you do that again the next day, and the next, and the next. Nothing there exciting.

As a child, I would look forward to the next special event, maybe a birthday party or a visit with a friend from out of town. Because day to day was dull. Unexciting. But then, I was attempting to find joy in everyday things.

Later, once I got older, I discovered life presented roadblocks, serious hardships that zap joy. Sickness. Death. Disappointments.

My attitude toward life runs contrary to what God says:

“You will make known to me the path of life; In Your presence is fullness of joy; In Your right hand there are pleasures forever.” Psalm 16:11

 In that verse we learn God knows a better way to live. Joy is in his presence.

“So teach us to number our days that we may get a heart of wisdom.” Psalm 90:12

            This verse teaches that our days are precious, not mundane.

Today my guest is Carol McLeod. Her newest book, Joy for All Seasons,  offers guidance on finding that joy we all want. Listen and learn from her!


Adoption Reflects God’s Love

February 15, 2019

I recall the day my father died. My mother died about two years prior, and his death left an empty spot in my soul. Even as an adult I was an orphan. The intensity of the pain shocked me.

One passage came to mind, and I still think of it often:

When my father and mother forsake me, the Lord will take me up. Ps.  27:10

Parents comfort us because we aren’t alone. They care about even the smallest thing because we belong to them. I could always call Mom or Dad anytime, and they’d listen regardless of what I faced. Losing that connection devastates us.

However, when I accepted Jesus, the Lord adopted me, and in him I have a parent who wants to listen and walk with me through life. He created me and did more for me than Mom and Dad could ever do. When I was his enemy, he died for my sins.

Valentine’s Day arrived and the stores offer flowers, candy, teddy bears, and cards. But compared to adoption, this love looks cheap.

Today I have Kim de Blecourt, and she has written I Call You Mine. She tells how she adopted a boy from overseas and shares how they adapted to his needs. She also draws parallels to God’s love for us.


Discover How Mentoring Can Change Your Life

February 8, 2019

Did you know mentoring took place in the Bible?

If you read the New Testament, you will notice Paul mentioned Timothy as he opened five of his epistles. Paul wrote two more books to Timothy, referring to him as “my true child in the faith and my beloved child.”

 In I Timothy, Paul told Timothy, “Let no one despise you for your youth, but set the believers an example in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, in purity.”

Doubtless Paul was preparing the younger man for ministry by walking him through the ups and downs of life. That’s mentoring.

Paul had the courage to say “Be imitators of me, as I am of Christ.” Because he understood we mature best in the company of believers.

My husband’s name is Ray. He had a high school teacher who mentored him. When he arrived in Mr. Westcott’s biology class, Ray was bored with school. He seldom put out much effort on homework on study. But Dr. Westcott challenged him and Ray began to study. He went from an average student to above average under Dr. Westcott’s influence. Mentoring changed his life.

Jayme Hull , my guest today, has written a book on mentoring and she shares how others impacted her life, helping her to grow to maturity. Listen to find out how you can benefit and help others too.


God’s Design For Sexuality in Changing Culture

February 5, 2019

The topic of sexuality creates a lot of controversy today. What should we believe? Are we out of date?

Good question. Did you know that the apostle Paul actually praised someone? But he also warned that same church about sexuality.

Let me explain. Thessolonica was the capitol of the Roman province of Macedonia. The city was a major trade center so religion and philosophy discussed there and many worshiped the Greek and Roman gods. When Paul visited the city, a number of Jews and Gentiles came to Christ. When Paul wrote the Book of 1 Thess., he praised them for remaining true to their father despite being persecuted and having their possessions seized.

You became an example to all the believers in Macedonia and in Achaia. People had heard how they turned from idols to serve God.

It’s interesting to note in Chapter four of the epistle, that Paul warns them…

“To abstain from sexual immorality that each one of you know how to control his own body in holiness and honor.”

Wow. Given the fact that they were examples, that seems out of character.

However, inappropriate sexuality is powerful and can destroy.

That’s important for us to know today when we see sex portrayed as casually as people have lunch.

I see so much confusion on this issue. People decide sexual identity on the basis of how they feel rather than whether or not they have xx chromosones or xy. And there’s pressure to respect each person’s decision. Again regardless of biology.

As believers, we need to realize the power of sexuality, and how dangerous it can be misused.
Today I have Mr Black. He is part of a team called Harvest USA who have done a series of lessons called God’s Design for Sexuality.


Welcome February.

February 1, 2019

Some might say that February is the Monday of the calendar year. January is full of rest much like a Sunday after the hectic holidays have passed. In February, we get truly started on our year, making plans with much to look forward to. The year is ahead of us, much like on a Monday, when the week can still be filled in with gatherings, celebrations, and get-togethers.

While Mondays might not be your favorite day of the week, who can deny the joy found in a fresh start? A clean slate? February is a month of new beginnings, the anticipation of spring, and, of course, excess amounts of love. This is the month where we are called to express our love in tangible ways to those around us. There’s an entire aisle at the grocers filled with candy hearts, pink and red wrappings, and those over-sized chocolate kisses. Kids exchange Valentine’s cards in their schools, sweethearts exchange gifts, and friends celebrate together.

As the month of love presses on, we are excited for what is to come in 2019, on and off the radio… yes, details will be coming soon!

To kick-off February, let’s pray: 

Father, I am so thankful you loved me when I wasn’t lovable. I would never have given this sinful world a second thought, but you expressed Your love with a horrific sacrifice. Please help me boast in your steadfast love so that others may know your majesty.In Jesus Name, Amen.

Seek Him and Choose to Be Shade.

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-February 2019-Cynthia L. Simmons

To download the February 2019 “Others Centered” Calendar, click here.

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