The Little Things!

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There are so many “little things” parents can intentionally talk about each day with kids that will help them grow; little reminders to start the day positively and enhance children’s outlook on the world around them.

Here are a few suggestions:

  1. Every day upon awakening, the first thought is “Good Morning Jesus!” This reminds us all that the day belongs to our Creator, Master, King!
  2. List 3 things you’re thankful for everyday. No duplications from day to day. I promise you’ll never run out!
  3. Remind kids to pick one person to perform a kindness for each day. True joy comes through authentic service to others!
  4. Take the time to point out something about God’s beautiful creation around us and talk about how we can take care of His creation!
  5. Pick a song you can all sing in the morning together! It could be a favorite VBS song or a praise song from Sunday worship!

 

I don’t know about you, but I can get caught up in the trials of our world and forget to focus on all the amazing blessings from God. Worshiping him through thanksgiving of all the “little things” around us helps kids to learn that every day belongs to our Savior, Jesus!

Mel

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The Essentiality of Effective Leadership

                                    

Effective leadership is essential to the success of any cause.  It was evident in the Christian revolution during and following the life and death of Christ.  It was indispensable in the American Revolution.  It was an absolute necessity in the winning of both World Wars.

It is as essential today as it was in yesteryears.  It is essential in the success of any and all causes you support and in which you invest, mentally, emotionally, socially and financially.  Effective leadership is essential to the success of any cause.

What cause do you invest in? Your family? Your church? Your employment or entrepreneurial venture? A social or school activity? Whatever the cause, without solid leadership it will be difficult for that cause to experience any success.

Every cause – your favorite cause! – requires the disciplined involvement of people, sometimes a few, sometimes more than many. The investment and energy of many is critical. Very few if any great causes have successfully advanced with the effort of a single person.  “It takes a village” may not be the finest description of people involvement but it does convey a certain truth; cooperation of many in a well orchestrated approach is imperative to the achievement of any cause.

Every orchestra, every cause needs a leader – someone who is competent and compassionate about taking others where they will not go on their own; someone who is able to successfully give direction and motivate others to effectively participate cooperatively to advance the cause.

Nowhere is it more critical than in the success of healthy family life – a cause near and dear to many of us. Our current culture is severely pock-marked with the disease of anemic family leadership, if not the total absence of it.

So, what constitutes effective leadership in the home, or in any cause?

A leader must have a detailed vision of what the home should be. He/she must know how to develop a step-by-step strategy for reaching the perceived goal of a healthy family (it won’t “just happen” because you want it). A leader must know how to draw from others to compensate for his/her personal limitations (we all have them!); this certainly includes prayer and a dependency upon the Lord’s leadership in and through us.

The leader must be a person of genuine character not a character, but possessing n admirable character and sense of authenticity. He/she must be trustworthy, faithful to the cause, absent of personal pride and self-interest. A healthy attitude and the ability to be gentle but firm goes a long way in possessing the ability of motivate others. 

Neither you nor I were born with leadership qualities. Every one of these vital elements mentioned above is acquired through relentless effort and determination. May it be that you will aspire to grow in your leadership so the cause(s) you believe in and support can be enhanced by your developing ability to lead. Make no mistake about it – you are required to lead in some important cause. My prayer and desire is that you will improve in that leadership with each passing month.

Dean Hammond

Say Thank You

parkview_christian_church_mediumThe other day I was going through some old files when I came across my ordination certificate. Confession, I thought I had lost it. The reason it was lost or, shall I say, misplaced in the first place is that it was in my file cabinet because I chose not to hang it on my wall. It’s not that I am not proud to be ordained.  Believe me those words ring out on the certificate that says, “To be set apart to the Gospel of Jesus Christ and is hereby cordially commended everywhere as a Minister of Christ”. Those are words I take very seriously, but those are also words that are not easy to live up to. 2 Timothy 2:15 is also on the certificate at the bottom. It says, “Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a workmen, who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the Word of Truth. The words “worthy” and “approved” are always hard to live up to.

 

What I am most proud of when I look at it are the names signed on the certificate.  These men and the values that they uphold have been incredible in my life. They have been men that I am sure many times felt un-worthy of the Gospel or the grace that they have received. No one is perfect, but they were men that took a stand for the Kingdom. They were great mentors for me who supported me through tough times. Not all of them were paid ministers, but they were all ministers for the Gospel in their everyday lives. For that I thank them. Thank you for your example throughout the years of being faithful to your calling and most of all your Lord and Savior.

 

Some of these men have since gone on to be with the Lord.  I never really got a chance or, more correctly, took the time to thank them, and for that I will always have regret. So if you are reading this, my challenge to you would be look at some of the people in your life that made a difference and just take the time to say thank you. So with that said, thank you Blair Pride, Hursel Rose, George Pindell, Robert Turner, Al Ginn, Bob Miller, Thomas Friskney, David Conover, Dan Pence, and even my brother Kenny White who made the certificate (He had to have paid someone). I say with all sincerity that these men have all played a part in mentoring and discipling me. There have been others along the way and too many to list today.

 

The second challenge is for you to do the same for someone else. We must live our lives in such a way that we all become ministers of the Gospel. Present yourself to God as one approved and a workman who is not ashamed, but willing to stand up for the truth and be an example for someone else.

 

Brian

 

 

Never Stop Seeking!

Every year on Christmas Day TBS shows the classic “A Christmas Story” where Ralphie, of course, is waiting for that perfect gift: The Red Rider BB Gun. Just mention the words Red Rider and the first thing that comes to mind is, “You’ll shoot your eye out kid!” The truth is we have seen the movie a thousand times thanks to TBS taking a break from their regular programming to give us those memorable scenes. There is the “triple dog dare you”, the granddaddy of them all. Also, “the bunny suit”, getting his mouth washed out with soap, and the major award that could be seen from Cleveland Street. If you have never seen this movie, then you must have your TV off on Christmas day. There is one scene where Ralphie is so excited after receiving his Little Orphan Annie secret decoder. To his surprise he would now be able to decode the secret message. The anticipation was lifted when he received the final word, “Be sure to drink your Ovaltine”. Let’s just say old Ralphie was not impressed.

Sometimes I think we approach God’s word as if there is this great mystery, or that we need some sort of decoder to understand the message. I don’t believe God’s word was ever meant to be a mystery. There are things about God that we certainly do not understand; things that we must take in faith. However, I feel that He has given His word so that we can begin to understand who He is, and what He desires for us to have.

Luke 8:10 Jesus said, “To you it has been granted to know the mysteries of the kingdom of God, but to the rest it is in parables, so that SEEING THEY MAY NOT SEE, AND HEARING THEY MAY NOT UNDERSTAND”. This was of course after the Parable of the Sower and He goes on to say the seed is the word of God. He explained how each different person had placed themselves in a situation that did not allow the word to take root. When I read this, I don’t see barriers that God has placed in our life. I see barriers that we allow. God’s desire is for all to be with Him in heaven. His desire was so strong that He would send his Son to be with us. So if I were to unlock a mystery, what would I do? Let’s start with four areas.

  1. Be Present. How many times do we see God call someone in the Bible and the words that come out of their mouth are “Here I am Lord?” I do not believe it is by accident that these words occur in scripture. I believe God is saying if you want to find me, you need a willing heart first. “You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart” Jeremiah 29:13.

 

  1. Be Proactive. Is there something in your life that gets in the way of seeking Him? Is there a distraction or sin that you need to take care of?

 

  1. Be Purposeful. Jesus taught us the greatest commandment, “‘You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. A second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ The entire law and all the demands of the prophets are based on these two commandments.” Our purpose is found in loving God and loving others.

 

  1. Be Persistent. James 1:5 says if you need wisdom ask our generous God and He will give it to you. He will not rebuke you for asking. That doesn’t sound like a God who is throwing up roadblocks or mystery to block the way. He calls us to be persistent and not give up. When we are persistent we will receive the crown of life. NEVER STOP SEEKING!

Greed grabs, Gratitude gives!

Can you believe that the year 2015 is about a month away from being over? The fall season is winding down and I can already feel the chill of winter coming upon us. This could only mean one thing: Thanksgiving is here.

For many of us Thanksgiving is a wonderful opportunity to take time from our jobs to see family who may be far away from us (or close to us), eat some good food, and watch some football.

It seems though that more and more Thanksgiving is being forgotten. This year I’ve seen Christmas decorations come out before Halloween, and Black Friday hours starting earlier and earlier. I can only conclude one thing: Our culture is becoming less and less thankful.

Christmas, to the world, has become about getting things. And it’s not just about getting things; it’s about getting things as early as you can. Stores open to encourage all of us on Thanksgiving Day to forget about the time that we could spend with our family, and instead to spend the most money we can in one day. The holiday that is supposed to remind us about all the things we are grateful for, is now turned in to all the things that we can consume.

I am so thankful that when I grew up family time was made a priority. I cannot tell you what I got when I was 15 for Christmas, but I can definitely tell you many Thanksgiving stories that I have with my family through the years.

I encourage all of you this year to make some memories, start some traditions with your family which involves giving to others to really fulfill you. Full gratitude comes through Christ. Philippians 4:19 says, “And my God will supply every need of yours according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus.” God gives us what we need. Remember Acts 20:35, that is better to give than to receive.

This Thanksgiving, I want to challenge families to ask a couple questions, “How can I show my family gratitude instead of greed this year?”, “What can my family do this Thanksgiving for someone else?”, and “What traditions can I start this year with my family which displays gratitude”?

I pray that we can be families that grab less, and give more.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Heath

 

Leadership In the Home

Placing blame on others, victim thinking, and procrastination remain deeply embedded in our culture, as a lack of personal accountability persists in our society. Is it possible that when people at work, church or school place blame and whine, it’s because they were taught to do so at home? And that these dangerous ways of acting and thinking were modeled for them – by mom and dad?!

Leadership begins at home. Until Mom and Dad choose to practice personal accountability in their lives, not much will change – anywhere. Societal problems, which include all the problems found within our organizations, are often rooted in the family.

As parents, we need to ask, “Am I raising children who blame their teachers when they get a poor grade?” We need to do an attitude check of our own parenting; are we failing to develop personal accountability in our children?

Rather than wondering. “When will my daughter start getting her homework done on time?” we need to ask, “Am I getting my home work done, or do I procrastinate and leave the house a mess?” Parents who are good leaders know this: Modeling is the most powerful form of teaching. Dads and moms who accept the mantle of home leadership accept that they – not sports stars, pop culture icons, or Hollywood celebrities – are the role models for their kids.

Leadership at home is captured in this statement: My child is a product of my parenting. Any other view of parenting is irresponsible folly. Excuse-making is never part of a leader’s world. Moms and dads who really grasp that victim thinking is a disease spread from the parents to the kids – that blame is taught and caught, and that procrastination is learned – know what will happen should they fail to fulfill their job at home.

Troubled youth can come from good parenting homes. However, all troubled youth are caught in the web of lacking personal accountability, and there is something we as parents can do to improve that by modeling and training our children in the way they should go, by modeling and teaching personal accountability.

Dean

Children and Self Discipline

Ah, Children! We love them with the type of love God created between parents and children. It is designed to be a love that will protect, provide, and guide the children while they walk the path God has planned specifically for them.

“Children, obey your parents because you belong to the Lord, for this is the right thing to do.” Ephesians 6:1. That is God’s instruction to our kids.

I like to tell the kids in our Children’s Ministry about the one time I tried to “back-talk” my mother. It backfired badly! I did not try it again. She made it known that this behavior was unacceptable and I was to respect her. I tell the kids that it is totally possible to not defiantly talk back to their parents. Many of the children are amazed to consider themselves never doing it again.

Teaching children self discipline will help ready them for life’s challenges. Below are 7 tips for teaching children self discipline.

  1. Teach children to come when they are called. (Not yell “what?” from across the house.
  2. Teach children to respond positively to correction. This is a tough one, but children learning to control an impulse to be angry about correction are learning a life-long skill.
  3. Social skills that require self discipline include learning to listen, anger control, and learning when it is appropriate to interrupt a conversation.
  4. Encourage children to participate in self discipline building activities such as learning how to play an instrument. Also, sports, caring for pets, cleaning their room, and many others, are important ways to learn self discipline.
  5. Recognizing your child when he receives a reward helps to positively reinforce a job well done.
  6. Use bedtimes to teach self discipline. Set a time and develop a routine that is done every night. Teaching a child to quietly stay in bed while you are still awake takes a lot of work, but it definitely pays off in the end.
  7. Morning routines and chores are ways to learn responsibility. The rewards for being responsible are called privileges. A child who is responsible to be ready on time in the morning is then rewarded by an extra 15 minutes at night or something equivalent.

Self discipline is ultimately a large part of a person’s character. We as parents want our children to become the kind of adults whom are self sufficient.

Thanks,

Mel