The Faith of my Daughter


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Rising up a child in the faith is a constant thing. We can’t just let Children’s Ministers and Youth Group leaders be responsible for the spiritual training of our children. Parents must also cultivate a deep faith in our children and constantly set an example. I’ve tried to do that, by answering my daughter’s questions, and keeping our faith alive at home. In addition to regular church attendance, my daughter watches her parents pray, attend Bible Study, and listen only to Christian music. Sometimes I wonder if I am being successful. Monday morning I got my answer.

My 10 year-old daughter had knee surgery yesterday. I spent quite a bit of time in prayer leading up to her surgery, asking God to guide the surgeon’s hands, keep the medical staff alert and accurate, and for my daughter to not feel significant pain. I prayed for quick and complete healing. I alerted my church and posted my prayer request on Facebook; many friends lifted my daughter up yesterday morning. I knew she was covered in prayer.

After my daughter was prepared for the operating room she asked for a moment of privacy – to pray. A 10 year-old asking for privacy to pray! My heart leapt for joy!

Children surprise us sometimes, don’t they? Just when we think they haven’t heard a word we said, we find out that they have been listening – intently. Proverbs 22:6 tells us “Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.” This verse tells us that what we do as parents does matter and should give us encouragement to continue set the right example and to train up our children in the faith.

That my daughter’s faith is growing should not come as a surprise to me. During the summer of 2014 my daughter asked for a Bible and a cover. She wanted to pick a Bible that was meaningful and useful to her. That trip to the Christian book store was a wonderful experience. We prayed she would select the Bible God wanted her to have. I watched as Elianna opened different versions, read some verses, and finally selected a simple, NIV Bible. She still uses that Bible frequently and has highlighted numerous passages. She was only 9 at the time she chose it.

My daughter knows the words to most of the Christian music we listen to, and often signs along. She knows my favorite songs and has a knack for knowing when to play a specific song for me. Until yesterday I didn’t realize what a big deal this was. I just thought she was playing music like any tween would. But when we drove her home from the hospital, it was Christian music she wanted to listen to. It calmed her and gave her peace.

My daughter’s story of faith goes back to when I was pregnant with her. I had prayed for a daughter for many years, but had lost several precious babies to miscarriage before I became pregnant with my daughter. To honor God for this special, precious gift of a baby, we gave her a name that would also be her testimony: Elianna. Elianna is a Jewish name that means “The Lord has responded, or God has answered my prayer.”

I have prayed other prayers for my daughter: for her safety, her spiritual growth, to do well in school, to meet and marry a godly man, and to have a career that will bless many. Parents, prayers for your children are powerful, and our great God hears them all. Won’t you pause for a moment and lift up your precious child (ren) to Him right now?

Father God,

We lift up the child(ren) You entrusted to us. As parents, we ask for wisdom to guide them to You and be godly examples. We pray earnestly for them to know You and accept Salvation through the precious blood of Your Son, Jesus. We pray for them to be obedient to You. We pray for our child(ren) to trust You fully and grow deep roots of faith. We pray for them to gain spiritual wisdom so they can make the right choices and follow the perfect path You have for them. Lord, we ask you to protect our child(ren) from every harm. Grant them wisdom to recognize the tactics of the enemy and flee from every temptation. Help them be strong in this broken world, and grant them the ability and courage to share Jesus with many others. Amen.

May you recognize how the Lord has richly blessed you and your precious children!

Scripture: www.biblegateway.com

Image: Google Images

 

Prayer Journaling


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I’ve been keeping a prayer journal for several years now. This daily ritual helps me remain focused so my mind does not wander. It’s also a record of my requests. I can go back and look at how God has worked in my life. This is part of what I wrote this morning:

Dear Heavenly Father,

It is the dawn of a New Year and I look forward to all the possibilities it holds. But I will need Your perfect guidance in my life. Please be there to silence the lies of the enemy and remind me of whom I am in You. Help me rest in Your truth. Grant me clarity of purpose and the courage to carry out Your will in every aspect of my life.

As I was praying this morning, I was prompted to turn to the prayer I wrote January 1, 2015. Reading that prayer almost brought me to tears. Throughout the year God’s faithfulness was evident as I remembered how he answered my prayers and prepared me for the big change coming to my life.

Keeping a record of your prayers is also a record of the faithfulness of our Lord. Turn back to any date, read your prayer and remember how God has helped you face your struggles by being by your side. It reminds me of how much our Lord has blessed me and helps me feel a renewed sense of gratitude.

If you would like to start a prayer journal today would be a great day to start. You can write your prayers in Bibles created for journaling, in the margins of devotionals, decorative journals, spiral notebooks, or even electronically. (Electronic versions are easier to search, but I prefer to write to God in longhand.) After a few months, go back and review your prayers. Thank God for answering your prayers. This is a great exercise to remind you of our Lord’s faithfulness. If you don’t know what to say, listed below are a few ideas to get you started.

Prayer Prompts:

Copy the Lord’s prayer, and then expand on it. Pray a prayer of confession.
Rewrite the prayer of St. Francis of Assisi, and then add to it. Pray for safety.
Pray for someone you don’t like. Pray for the nation’s leaders.
Pray the Psalms. Pray for your health.
Pray for your family. Ask God for the ability to make wise, godly choices.
Pray for your friends. Pray for the world, one country at a time.
Pray for your co-workers, and your boss. Pray for an end to terrorism.
Pray for the military and first responders. Pray for Christians where Christians are in the minority.
Pray for your schools. Thank God for the people in your life.
Pray for every family on your block. Thank God for your job.
Pray for your physicians. Thank God for your possessions.
Pray for your community leaders. (Try to) List your blessings.
Pray for peace and goodness to fill your home. Thank God for pure water and plenty of food.
Pray for your pastors and church elders. Pray for missionaries.
Pray for those who write books that explain God’s Word in more detail. Pray over your daily calendar.
Pray about your goals. Pray for our nation’s leaders.
Ask God to guide you through His Word. Pray for healing to broken relationships.
Pray for Wisdom. Pray for your future.
Pray a prayer of confession. Ask for guidance on how to serve the Lord.
Pray for safety. (Try to) List your blessings.
Pray for the nation’s leaders. Thank God for pure water and plenty of food.
Pray for your health. Pray for missionaries.
Ask God for the ability to make wise, godly choices. Pray over your daily calendar.
Pray for the world, one country at a time. Pray for our nation’s leaders.
Pray for an end to terrorism. Pray for healing to broken relationships.
Pray for Christians where Christians are in the minority. Pray for your future.
Thank God for the people in your life. Ask for guidance on how to serve the Lord.
Thank God for your job. Thank God for your possessions.

 

May you be richly blessed as you discover God’s faithfulness to you as you turn to Him in prayer.

Psalm 77:11-12

“I will remember the deeds of the Lord; yes, I will remember your miracles of long ago. I will consider all your works and meditate on all your mighty deeds.”

50+ Reasons I’m Thankful For My Husband


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My husband and I are celebrating our 20th anniversary today. I thought it fitting to reblog my post from our 18th anniversary, with a few changes. My prayer is your marriage is as richly blessed as ours is.

50+ Reasons I’m Thankful for My Husband 

Twenty years ago I said “I do” to the most wonderful man I have ever met. I would do it all over again. We’ve had our share of ups and downs, joys and heart breaks, but our love and faith in God has sustained us. Today, I thought I would let you know why I love my husband so much. I pray blessings on your marriage, as you read about mine.

  1. I’m grateful he shares my faith in Jesus Christ.
  2. I am grateful to have a teammate as we face the challenges of life together.
  3. And reminisce over the life we have built together.
  4. I’m grateful he chose me to be his wife.
  5. I’m grateful he is an excellent father.
  6. And provider.
  7. And comforter.
  8. I’m grateful he’s good at things I’m not, like fixing computers and knowing what to do with the cars.
  9. I’m grateful he shares my love of cooking, and wine.
  10. And travel, and adventure.
  11. We love the same music.
  12. I’m grateful he maintains a few of his own interests, and lets me have a few of mine. It keeps life interesting.
  13. He fretted over me when I was pregnant and our children were born.
  14. He helped change the diapers.
  15. And care for the kids when they were little.
  16. He appreciates and defends my role as a mom.
  17. He encourages me.
  18. His sense of humor.
  19. His service to our country.
  20. He’s a great role model.
  21. He helps with the laundry and dishes.
  22. He helps the kids with homework.
  23.  He’s a human jungle gym for the kids.
  24. He’s romantic.
  25. He spoils me.
  26. He always holds the door for a lady, not just me.
  27.  He’s a man of integrity.
  28. He doesn’t complain.
  29. He handles the yuckies in our house.
  30. He pumps the gas for me.
  31. His willingness to sacrifice.
  32. He knows how to talk to anyone.
  33. He doesn’t mind when I’m home for the night, comfortable and don’t look all that great.
  34. He volunteered to teach our son to drive.
  35. His willingness and encouragement to try new things.
  36. His loyalty (even to a losing sports team).
  37. That he calls me a couple times a day just to check on me.
  38. He always puts up the Christmas lights.
  39. And takes us to see fireworks (that can be metaphorical).
  40. He’s the most patient person I know.
  41. He supports me and my goals.
  42. He respects and loves his parents.
  43. And puts up with my family.
  44. Because he always remember special days, like today.
  45. Because he rubs my feet after a tough day.
  46. Because he will go shopping with me.
  47. And he shops for me; he really puts thought into gifts.
  48. The house is decorated pretty much the way I wanted it.
  49. So many little things he does that make me feel loved.
  50. I would rather be with him than anyone else, even if we aren’t doing anything.
  51. And because of things I won’t post on a public list. 

Ephesians 5:31

“Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.”

May your marriage be richly blessed.

Scripture: openbible.info

 

Thankfulness – Day 30


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Dear Heavenly Father,

Today, I thank you for the gift of a godly husband. Thank you for the love we share. Who we choose for our spouse may be the most significant decision we every make. I thank You for leading me to my husband, and for blessing our marriage all these years. I thank you for the ways we celebrate marriage and thank You that tomorrow we will be married 20 years.

Proverbs 18:22

He who finds a wife finds a good thing and obtains favor from the Lord.

 Mark 10:6-9

But from the beginning of creation, ‘God made them male and female.’ ‘Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.’ So they are no longer two but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let not man separate.”

1 cor 13

Scripture: www.biblegateway.com

Image: Google Images

Thankfulness – Day 29


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Dear Heavenly Father,

Today, we thank you for Your Church. Thank you for a place to go to worship, and brothers and sisters to worship with, have fellowship with, and hear a message designed to draw us closer to You.

[My husband and I moved to a new state a few months ago. Since then we have been visiting different churches to find a new church home. The beautiful thing about the body of Christ is to go to a new church and witness and experience the same meaningful worship and the love of Christ just the same as other congregations. Together we are the body of Christ.]

Romans 12:5

so we, though many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another.

Hebrews 10:24-25

And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.

Scripture: www.biblegateway.com

Image: Google Images, Pinterest

 

Thankfulness – Day 27


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Dear Lord,

Today we give You thanks for the people who have been called to perform services for others. These wonderful servants take care of things that make our lives more comfortable and healthy. Lord, we give you thanks for trash collectors, plumbers, pest control, those who service our vehicles, and for so many others that serve others. Remind us to be kind and gracious to these servants and to remember them this holiday season.

 Proverbs 11:25

Whoever brings blessing will be enriched, and one who waters will himself be watered.

Mark 10:44-45

And whoever would be first among you must be slave of all. For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”

Galatians5.13

Matthew 20:28

Even as the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”

Mark 9:35

And he sat down and called the twelve. And he said to them, “If anyone would be first, he must be last of all and servant of all.”

 Scripture: www.openbible.info

Image: Google Images

Thankfulness – Day 26


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Dear Heavenly Father,

Today we give You thanks for food. Lord, you have blessed us with an abundance and variety of foods and drink. You also gave us taste buds to enjoy the food You have provided. As we feast today keep us focused on You alone, the giver of all good things.

 Ecclesiastes 9:7

Go, eat your bread with joy, and drink your wine with a merry heart, for God has already approved what you do.

1 Corinthians 10:31

So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.

Genesis 9:3

Every moving thing that lives shall be food for you. And as I gave you the green plants, I give you everything.

 Koko_Thanksgiving_Overeating

 May your Thanksgiving Celebration be blessed.

Scripture: www.openbible.info

Image: Google Images