Create A Blessing Journal

A few month’s back, my wife and I went up to alma mater (Great Lakes Christian College) for a special alumni prayer for the students during chapel.  It was an enjoyable experience and grateful for the opportunity.

Before the prayer, one the alumni shared a journal that was given to him at graduation from his mom.  Inside the journal were prayers that his mom said to him while he was at school.

WHAT A COOL IDEA!!!!

And I thought to myself; I will have to remember that when my children get into college.  Then it occurred to me, why don’t I start now.  Why do I have to wait for my kids to be in college to pray a blessing over them?

So I started, I ordered some Moleskins, and I try to write faithfully blessings for my children.

The blessings are no more than a paragraph long.  And they normally have to do with something that I witnessed them doing or even things that I am learning in my life.

Here are some examples of my blessings that I wrote for them.

I’ve been thinking lately about making the most of every moment.  I believe that Jesus is coming back, so it’s important to be showing the gospel of grace and mercy every day as much as possible.  I pray that when you look back at these years that you look back with memories of grace and mercy.  ~ Love Your Dad

Today we went and saw Zootopia.  The movie was about harmony and peace.  The main point is that peace is up to you.  Paul say’s in Romans 12:8 “If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.”  This is my prayer for you, and a truth to pass on ~ Love Your Dad

Nothing complicated or overly tedious, just a simple thought and prayer.

The main idea I want my children to know, is that I care for them and want them to know that their father cares for the spiritual welfare, and hopefully, they look back and see God moving in their life.

 

 


Spiritual Parents Need To Be Spiritually Healthy

Sounds obvious…..

But is it true in your life?

Take a few moments and consider how much time you put in your spiritual life?

Is just once a week on Sunday?  Is it daily, if so how much time?

What do you do?  Do you journal? Do you say prayers? Do you read Christian books?  Do you read your Bible?

If the Christian leader in your home (aka you) isn’t spiritually healthy, then how can the home be spiritually healthy?

A Christian parent needs to be faithfully seeking God themselves, not only for their spiritual pilgrimage but also to be a living testimony for their spouse and children.  If I say, my favorite football team is Ohio State, and I watch every other team but them, would you think I am a real fan?  Same goes with our faith, if I say “I believe the Bible to be true and Jesus is important in my life,” but never pick up the book or say a prayer, would you say I am genuine about my faith?

We don’t need to spiritual gurus.  We don’t need to perfect examples.  We need to show our families that God is the priority in our lives.

Here are some way’s to make sure God is your priority

Turn loose time  into God time.  We all have some loose time during our day.  Take one of those times to read a verse or two.  Take one of those times to say a quick prayer for your spouse and children.

Plan time in your day, your week and your year for God.  If you are not careful with your time, it will fill up fast.  Make sure not to overload your time with things that are not spiritually essential.  Maybe plan time off during the week or even plan a sabbatical sometime during the year.

Share your spiritual moments.  When a verse strikes your interest, share your thoughts with your family.  It doesn’t have to be a well thought-out idea, tell your family a verse you are thinking about, and maybe they might have insight that will help you! When you have an answered prayer, let your children know. If God is working in you, make sure your family knows it.

Something Extra

Make a spiritual journal for each of your children.  Every night when they go to bed or prepare for bedtime, write a God-moment and say a prayer for them.

 


The Spirit Of God Makes You Special

In His Words

Read 1 Corinthians 3

My Thoughts

Do you know how special you are?  Think about this, there were millions of people in the Old Testament that would be astonished to know that you have the Spirit of God living in you?!

Only a select group of people had that same spirit during those times, but now the Spirit of God resides in your soul.  Which makes your body a temple, a holy place of God.

Something To Ponder

The same spirit that lived in Moses, David and other heroes of the Old Testament, lives in you and in every Christian.  How can we live by the Spirit to change this world?

Prayer

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost. As it was in the beginning, and now, and always, and to the ages of ages. Amen.


Evernote & Kindle Is A Great Match

Talking with a friend about tips and tricks in note taking.

I know I have interesting conversations

But one thing that shocked me a little bit was how he wasn’t using Evernote.  For those who don’t know much about Evernote, it’s an online file cabinet and much more.  Do you have a physical file cabinet in your office?  Well, image that being online, with every file can be accessed wherever you are, with an easy to search tool.  I love Evernote so much that it is one of the services where I pay for the Premium, and I am a miser.

Seriously I have a hard time paying $.99 for a premium app

One of the functions that I love with Evernote is with my Kindle books.  I read roughly 15 – 30 books a year, not including numerous magazine…

…and comic… 

…subscriptions.  And because of the number of books that I read, I switched to digital over physical so I can keep my office from becoming a library.

Where would I keep my old video games consoles and my giant Pee-Wee Herman doll (You read correctly) 

Another plus digital has over physical is that note taking and finding specific notes is so much easier.  I can highlight on my Kindle or Kindle App; then I can see all my notes on that book online at kindle.amazon.com, or in Notebook section on my devices.

And this is where Evernote comes in and changes everything.

I was gonna say “whole nother level,” but that would…. You know…

It changes how I preach, teach, and even made seminary a breeze.  Here is how I use Evernote and Kindle.

Let me show you a step by step instruction on how I use these two products together.

Here is a highlight from a book that I finished.

Highlight

I prefer using the Kindle desktop when I am putting my notes together because I am faster with keyboard and trackpad.  But also, which you will see in a bit, it adds a nice footnote.  So when I have my note, I copy the highlighted note.

Next, I go to Evernote.  I like to create a notebook for each book.  I used to make a separate notebook for each chapter of the book, which I organize through Evernote‘s stack function, but I quickly realize that there is a 250 notebook limit for everyone.  Even if you are Premium member, it’s still 250.

So the created notebook for this particular highlight is called, “Practical Family Ministry” which is the title of the book.  Then I add a “New Note” and then paste my note in the note.

Evernote

Once I paste the highlight, you will notice that it inserts its own footnote.  I believe this only works if you copy and paste from the Kindle desktop app.  It’s no MLA or APA, but you can fix that yourself.  I then add a generic title

If no title, it will say “Untitled Note,” and that drives me crazy.

Then I tag the note to specific tags that I want to keep track of a specific topic.  This one I tagged “discipleship”, “equipping” and “parent ministry”.  Tagging is critical to my file management because if wanted to preach on discipleship or equipping, I just search those tags to find particular notes on it.  If I were going to do a talk on parent ministry, I could find all my notes on that as well.

And this is just one filed note, now add a 1000+ notes all tagged for a variety of reasons.  Now when I need an illustration or an idea to enhance my messages, I do not have to search through physical files or spend countless hours online looking through generic sermon illustrations to find something to add.

The best part, both the Kindle App and Evernote are free to have, and if this method works for you, spend the money to go Premium.


Family Devotion: Evil Enters The World

In God’s Word

Genesis 2: 16-17; 3:1-3

The Lord God gave the man a command. He said, “You can eat the fruit of any tree that is in the garden. But you must not eat the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. If you do, you can be sure that you will die.”

The serpent was more clever than any of the wild animals the Lord God had made. The serpent said to the woman, “Did God really say, ‘You must not eat the fruit of any tree that is in the garden’?”

The woman said to the serpent, “We can eat the fruit of the trees that are in the garden. But God did say, ‘You must not eat the fruit of the tree that is in the middle of the garden. Do not even touch it. If you do, you will die.’ ”

God gave Adam and Eve freedom to live in the Garden. They could skip, jump, run through the trees. They could interact with animals. Maybe swing on vines…. okay I pretty much described Tarzan, but you get my point. They had so much that could be done, except for one thing. The only thing they were not allowed to eat was from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil.

Sounds simple, but there was a deceiver in the Garden. The deceiver was someone who was seeking his desire, his will, and it wanted Adam and Eve to choose themselves over God.

Questions:

  • What would you be doing in the Garden if you were Adam or Eve? What was the one restriction God gave Adam and Eve?
  • What did the deceiver ask Eve?
  • What do these tell us about God and the deceiver?

Sticky Note To Your Child:

Stand firm in God’s will

Prayer for the Family

I pray that my family will stand firm in God’s will and not fall into the trap of the deceiver.


Family Time Devotions: A Week Through God Creating Man And Woman

Monday

In God’s Word

Genesis 2:4b-7 (NIrV)

The Lord God made the earth and the heavens. At that time, bushes had not appeared on the earth. Plants had not come up in the fields. The Lord God had not sent rain on the earth. And there wasn’t any man to work the ground. But streams came up from the earth. They watered the whole surface of the ground.

Then the Lord God formed a man. He made him out of the dust of the ground. He breathed the breath of life into him. And the man became a living person.

God created the world in sixth days, and after God had created the world, He said “It was Good.” And of all the creation, one part of creation was extra special, humankind.

Everything was created out of nothing, but humankind was first created by God’s hand from His creation and breathed His life into us to make us alive.

No other creation can claim that to be true.

Questions:

  • How did God create man?
  • How does that make you different than other creatures?

Sticky Note:

  • Remember you are a special creation, but so is everyone in your school. (Genesis 2:7)

Prayer For The Family:

I pray that my family know that everyone is a special creation. I pray that we all will treat everyone we encounter as a special creation.

Read the rest of this entry »


Family Devotion Time: Day 6-7 & Extra Activity

In God’s Word

Genesis 1:26-31; 2:1-4a (NIrV)

Then God said, “Let us make man in our likeness. Let them rule over the fish in the waters and the birds of the air. Let them rule over the livestock and over the whole earth. Let them rule over all of the creatures that move along the ground.” So God created man in his own likeness. He created him in the likeness of God. He created them as male and female. God blessed them. He said to them, “Have children and increase your numbers. Fill the earth and bring it under your control. Rule over the fish in the waters and the birds of the air. Rule over every living creature that moves on the ground.” Then God said, “I am giving you every plant on the face of the whole earth that bears its own seeds. I am giving you every tree that has fruit with seeds in it. All of them will be given to you for food. “I am giving every green plant to all of the land animals and the birds of the air for food. I am also giving the plants to all of the creatures that move on the ground. I am giving them to every living thing that breathes.” And that’s exactly what happened. God saw everything he had made. And it was very good. There was evening, and there was morning. It was day six.

So the heavens and the earth and everything in them were completed. By the seventh day God had finished the work he had been doing. So on the seventh day he rested from all of his work. 3God blessed the seventh day and made it holy. He rested on it. After he had created everything, he rested from all of the work he had done.   Here is the story of the heavens and the earth when they were created.

On the sixth day, God created the things that would walk this earth. He made animals like cows, sheep and all things that creep and crawl……. I like to think only on the cute things.

After God had made the animals, He made us. He made us differently. He created humankind, in His image from His creation. And He appointed us caretakers of His creation. And that was the end of the sixth day.
On the seventh day, God didn’t make anything, and He rested. He blessed this day and made it different from the other six.

The beginning days of this world is hard to grasp fully them awesomeness. There are many different theories of the world, and no matter how certain we may be on one particular theory, it requires faith in the unknown. As for me, I will put my faith in the one that gives me hope and that is the theory of creation.

Questions:

  • What makes animals and humans different in the creation story? Who’s image are you created in?
  • How does that make you feel to be created in God’s image?

Sticky Note:

Remember you are special in God’s eyes (Genesis 1:27)

Prayer for Your Family:

Help me treat my family as a unique and special creation. When I see their eyes, help me remember You. Bless my family this week, to walk as a special creation.

Extra Activity

Take a walk in the park or somewhere that has a lot of interesting things outside. Take pictures of all of God’s creation. Like animals, plants, each other.

During the walk ask them about everything they see. Ask about God’s creation and how special it is. Talk to them about how God planned and created everything that exists.

When you get home, take a look at all of the pictures.

Read Psalm 19:1-6

Ask them to tell me some of God’s work in these pictures? Tell them God did all of this? How great is God!


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